Indian boxers put up a good show on the sixth day of the Commonwealth Games as Neetu Gangus defeated Nicole Clyde of Northern Ireland and Mohd Hussamuddin defeated Namibia’s Trygan Morning Ndevello to give India two more medals.
The 28-year-old from Nizamabad had won a bronze medal at the Gold Coast four years ago. Husamuddin had to work hard for the win as it was a tough fight and could have gone either way.
Earlier, 21-year-old Neetu, from Bhiwani’s Dhanana district, had dominated the first two rounds against Clyde before the bout was abandoned with only one exit.
Making her Commonwealth Games debut, Neetu had big shoes to fill in the weight category of legendary MC Mary Kom, who injured herself during the selection trials held ahead of the mega event.
The Indian contingent had trained in Ireland before coming to Birmingham and this helped Neetu in her fight against Clyde.
“It was my first bout against him but we trained together in Ireland two weeks ago and did the touching and all.
“I knew what to do. This is only the beginning, I have a long way to go,” Neetu said after the quarterfinal win.
“I just listen to my coaches and try to follow that in the ring,” she said when asked about her long-term goals.
The Strandja Memorial gold medalist has no role model and isn’t into watching videos of other boxers either.
She is competing in the weight category of the great Mary Kom, but Neetu insists that she was never under any kind of pressure.
Neetu, who started boxing in 2012, suffered a serious shoulder injury in 2019, which kept her out of action for a long time.
She comes from a place where girls are not encouraged to play. However, one day his father enrolled him in a nearby academy and the rest followed him.
To make Neetu’s dream come true, her father had to leave his job in Chandigarh. She will count on nothing less than gold but is hopeful that a medal at the Commonwealth Games will lead to a financially secure future.
“We live in a joint family. My father is with me all the time so he cannot work. His elder brother takes care of all the expenses as we live in a joint family. Hopefully, this medal is huge. Will bring change,” added Neetu.
In other results, both men’s and women’s hockey teams beat Canada and Lovepreet Singh won another medal for India in the 109kg men’s weightlifting event.