Pooja Rani, First Indian Boxer at Tokyo Olympics 2020

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Pooja Rani, India's Fiercest Olympic Debutante

The Indian middleweight boxer, Pooja Rani has been making the headlines since her win at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Although she couldn’t qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, she was the first athlete to qualify for Summer Olympics 2020. With her outstanding performance at Olympics 2020, she made her way to the quarterfinals of the women’s 75kg middleweight quarterfinals by defeating Algeria’s Ichrak Chaib in the 16th round. In this blog, let’s celebrate the finest and upcoming Indian boxer, Pooja Rani!

Source: Economic Times

Also Read: Meet Maana Patel, the First Female Indian Swimmer to Qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Rani’s Fierce Fight for Olympics Maiden Medal 2020

Former Asian Champion, Pooja Rani became the first Indian athlete to qualify for the Olympics. She won by a unanimous 5-0 decision against her 20-year-old opponent. Thus, moving one step closer to assuring herself the medal for India. To ensure this win, Pooja used all her experience to control the three-round bout against Chaib.

Speaking of her victory, Rani’s coach Sanjay said, “We have discussed everything about every opponent, every game plan. We are constantly talking over video calls. Today also, before the bout she video-called me,”

However, on 31st July 2021, Indian boxer Pooja Rani lost to Li Qian of China 0-5 in the women’s middleweight (69-75kg) quarter-finals.

“I am very happy with her performance. Even the straight right, which is not a strong punch for her, was on point. This is the kind of win you need to prepare for tougher rounds,” Sanjay adds.

Early Life & Education

Pooja Rani comes from the Nimriwali Village of Bhirwani District in Haryana. Bhirwani district is known to be India’s sports cradle. An Income Tax inspector at the Haryana government, Pooja Rani is an incredible boxer as well as an employee of the Indian civil services. Her journey to becoming one of the best boxers in India was not easy as her father disapproved of her boxing career. It took her around a year to join the boxing academy of Bhirwani district, known as the Hawa Singh Boxing Academy. After joining the academy, she kept her practice a secret from her father and often hid her injuries by staying over at her friend’s place. 

This continued for nearly 6 months and when she was asked about it in an interview, she responded by saying that her father did not believe in her dream. When her father came to know about her ambitions, he stopped her from attending boxing classes and that’s when her coach, Sanjay Kumar Sheoran had to step in and plead with her family to allow her and it took another 6 months for her to convince her parents completely. Her first big win was in 2009 when she defeated the leading Haryana boxer, Preeti Beniwal in the state championships. Then she went on to become a youth state champion following which she won a silver medal in the Youth Nationals in the 60kg category. 

Source: Hindustan Times

Must Read: Meet CA Bhavani Devi, the First Indian Fencer to Qualify for Olympics

Awards and Achievements

Source: Scroll.in

Pooja Rani has emerged as a rising Indian star at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. This is not the first time Rani has proven herself as an unbeatable force, she has bagged a series of international and national awards. Here is a list of awards and achievements won by the Olympic debutante- 

National Awards

  • Bronze Medal in 11th Senior women National Boxing championship
  • Silver Medal in 12th Senior Women National Boxing championship 
  • Gold Medal in 13th Senior Women National Boxing championship
  • Gold Medal in 14th Senior Women National Boxing championship
  • Gold Medal in 16th Senior Women National Boxing championship 
  • Gold Medal in 34th National Games held in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand 
  • Gold Medal in Federation cup held in Uttrakhand, Nainital 
  • Gold Medal in Federation cup held in Nainital
  • Gold Medal in North Zone Boxing championship
  • Silver Medal in 4th Youth women National boxing championship 
  • Gold Medal in All India Inter-University held in MLS Udaipur 

International Awards

  1. Gold Medal in 12th South Asian Games held in Shillong 2016
  2. Silver Medal in Asian Women Boxing championship held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 2012
  3. Bronze Medal in 7th Asian Women Boxing championship held in Wulanchabu, China.2015 
  4. Bronze Medal in Incheon, Korea 2014
  5. Bronze Medal in 3rd Nations cup held in Verbas, Serbia 2014
  6. Bronze Medal in Nations cup held in Ruma, Serbia 2016 
  7. Bronze Medal in China open Boxing Guiyang city 2011
  8. Silver Medal in Arafura Games held in Darwin, Australia  2011

Check out: Lifting India’s Hope in Tokyo Olympics: Saikhom Mirabai Chanu

So, this was all about Pooja Rani, the Indian Boxer at Olympics 2020! Hope you found this blog insightful. For more inspirational content, follow Leverage Edu on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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