Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Women’s middleweight quarterfinal will see Pooja Rani face Li Qian (China).
The middleweight boxer is eyeing a podium finish in her maiden Olympics at Tokyo 2020. Here’s how Pooja Rani reached the quarters – READ
POOJA RANI: BOXER PROFILE
Form guide: 2021: Gold at Asian championships, UAE; Silver at Boxam International Tournament, Spain; 2020: Bronze at Cologne World Cup, Germany.
Ironically, despite being from the hub of boxing, Bhiwani girl Pooja Rani did not have any interest in the sport until her college lecturer Mukesh Rani persuaded her to don the gloves. Mukesh introduced 18-year-old Pooja to her husband Sanjay Sheoran, a boxing coach and the son of legendary boxer Hawa Singh. Sanjay convinced Pooja’s father, who was a policeman, to let his daughter box.
Pooja hid her bruises and cuts from her father to pursue boxing to win a gold medal at the Haryana state youth championships, followed by a silver at the Nationals youth championships in 2009, within months.
Pooja’s improvement removed her roadblocks and fetched her more glory. She progressed to win multiple National titles, an Asian Games medal, a South Asian Games gold medal and two Asian crowns.
Even though she had achieved most of her success in 75kg, Pooja had switched to get her first Asian title in 81kg in 2019. However, she returned to 75kg after being guided by foreign coach Raffaele Bergamasco to begin her pursuit of Olympics glory. She was encouraged after getting another Asian title in the middleweight division in 2021.