KIUG: A promising pugilist to look out for

By, Lucknow
Jun 01, 2023 11:10 PM IST

The Nagpur-based 20-year-old international boxer’s first appearance was at the Khelo India School Games in 2018

Promising 2021 youth world boxing champion, Maharashtra’s Alfiya Pathan and the sports ministry flagship event Khelo India Games are synonymous.

Maharashtra’s Alfiya Pathan (Sourced)
Maharashtra’s Alfiya Pathan (Sourced)

The Nagpur-based 20-year-old international boxer’s first appearance was at the Khelo India School Games in 2018, and she won a gold medal in the heavyweight category (plus 81kg).

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Six years later, she is competing in the boxing event of the ongoing Khelo India University Games 2022 at the SVSP Sports Complex in Gautam Buddh Nagar. “The Khelo India Games is an excellent opportunity for those on the fringes as well as established athletes to make an impact,” Alfiya said on the eve of her final match on Thursday.

After winning her first gold in 2018 Khelo India School Games, the boxing star became eligible for a monthly scholarship of 10,000. “The monthly scholarship is very beneficial to athletes who are still studying and aren’t employed,” Alfiya added.

Representing Nagpur University in the ongoing Khelo India University Games, Alfiya is considered a hot favourite to win gold in her weight category. She got a walkover in the semi-finals on Thursday and the final is scheduled for Friday.

Alfiya is one of those boxers who has graduated from the youth category to the elite level. Currently, she is enrolled at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Rohtak’s National Centre of Excellence in Haryana.

“There are good sparring partners and facilities at the NCOE in Rohtak,” Alfiya said, adding that the chief women’s national boxing coach, Bhaskar Bhatt, heads the coaching staff at the NCOE. Last year, Alfiya also became the first female boxer from Maharashtra to win a gold medal at the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championship held in Amman, Jordan.

However, she missed a podium finish at the New Delhi’s 2023 International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s Boxing Championship held in March. “I lost my quarter-finals bout in the national championship and couldn’t find a place in the national team,” she recalls. “That is the past. I’m fitter and looking ahead to a better performance.”

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