Nikhat, who competes in the non-Olympic 52kg category, will have to move up to the 50kg or 54kg division for the Paris Games. While the Asian Championships bronze medalist has decided to compete in the 50kg class at the CWG in Birmingham, she has yet to determine her weight class for Paris.
“It’s difficult to change weight classes because there are differences in each division. You are at a disadvantage if you move from a lower class to a higher class, because most boxers reduce their weight before entering the tournaments. You would be competing against heavier and stronger boxers (in Paris). But if I go down to 50 kg, it won’t change much because my current weight is at 51 or 51.5 kg. So , that way I will only have to lose a bit of I will continue in the 50 kg category if my body reacts well. At the CWG, I will compete in the 50 kg division,” Nikhat said after his historic triumph on Thursday. .
If Nikhat sticks to the 50kg category, she will face competition from other boxers on home soil – 2019 World Championships silver medalist Manju Rani and 2017 World Junior Champion Nitu. Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain, who competes in the 69kg division, will either have to move up to the 66kg or 75kg division for Paris. Pooja Rani Bohra and three-time Asian Games medalist Vikas Krishan also face the same dilemma.
Speaking about her world-top clash against Jutamas, Nikhat said she had to change her strategy ahead of the final period of the fight after the judges awarded the Thai boxer the second round via split decision.
“I wanted to give my best and win by unanimous decision. A split decision could have gone either way, so I didn’t want to take that risk. The idea was to win the first two rounds by unanimous decision, then take it easy in the third round. But since she won the second round by split decision, I had no choice but to give it my all in the third round,” she explained.
Nikhat said his main goal going forward would be to stay injury-free in his quest for a gold medal at the Paris Olympics.