We often hear stories of people who faced hardships before achieving their goals and fulfilling their dreams. The stories are not only inspiring but also motivating for others who are facing the same problems in life.
However, the story of this female boxer in India is a little bit different. She too had to face severe hardships throughout her journey before making her mark but her story is quite interesting to know about as the boxer was not even comfortable wearing the boxing gloves!
Her Story – From being a shy girl to being the ‘Queen’
Once too shy to even don the gloves when first introduced to boxing, Pooja Rani became the first Indian woman to claim an Asian Championship Gold in 81 kg category, after enduring two years of hard luck, which included a burnt hand and a shoulder injury.
In 2009, the first year of college, one of her teacher’s wife suggested that she should give boxing a shot because of her tall frame. However, Rani was too awkward and shy to even wear the gloves! She asked the lady to wear them on first to get comfortable.
Once done with the awkward step, another one was a small matter of convincing her police officer father, who felt boxing was a sport meant for aggressive people.
“’Maar lag jaaegi (you will get hurt)’, that’s what my father said. He insisted that the sport was not meant for me because, in his mind, boxing was pursued by aggressive people,” she recalled during an interview with Indian Express.
However, after six months of convincing her father and with the help of her coach Mr. Sanjay Singh from Hawa Singh Academy in Bhiwani, Pooja was finally able to pursue her dream.
“Such was my luck that in 2016, just before the Nationals (in October-November), I burnt my hand while bursting Diwali crackers. The burns took four months to heal. In 2017, while making a comeback, I sustained a shoulder injury for which the doctors recommended surgery,” she added.
Pooja defeated China’s Wang Lina in the finals in Bangkok after two years and the boxer has now become a three-time Asian medallist and also has an Asian Games (2014) bronze.