Winning the gold in 86-92kg light heavyweight category in men’s boxing at the Khelo India University Games here at the Jain University Global Campus has reinstated Nitin Kumar’s confidence whose career graph nose-dived after he sustained a shoulder injury in 2019 after his silver-medal outing in Khelo India Youth Games in Pune.
Having represented India at the Youth Amateur World Championship in 2018, and a host of other international events held in Thailand, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Nitin was on the right path to achieve success in the international stage. But the injury in 2019, left him in doubt of a career in the competitive contact sport. “The injury really set me back by a few years. I was adviced to not train for almost 9 months. In 2020, when I was ready to hit the ring again, the pandemic struck and lockdown forced me to stay indoors. My hopes of a comeback remained in a limbo,” recalls Nitin, who beat Anmol of Lovely Professional University in the final.
Recalling those days when he was out of action, Nitin said: “I doubted myself and I was mentally very disturbed. When I saw my compatriots participate at the AIBA World Boxing Championship in Serbia last year, it further affected me mentally.”
- also put on nearly 20 kilos during this time which meant I could no longer participate in my weight category. Those were the darkest days of my life but my family backed me a lot during this time,” an emotional Nitin said.
Having gone through months of self-doubt and struggle to reach desired form, Nitin finally feels like he is ready for bigger events. “Winning in the Khelo India University Games has brought back the lost confidence. I had not competed in any event over the past two years so winning back-to-back gold medals in Khelo India University Games and All India University Games gives me a sense of assurance that I can bounce back in the sport and look forward to represent India again. This win has motivated me to work harder and I know I can bounce back,” he said.
Next, Nitin’s aim is to reduce his weight and aim to participate in the 80kg category. He will make his next appearance in the Senior National Championship later this year and hopes for a good show at the World University Games. “I always participated in the 75kg category before my injury. Now, my aim is to work on losing weight and start competing in the 80 kg category. For my height and physique, that is the best category and I am sure of doing well,” he added.