Nagpur, the winter Capital of Maharashtra, has been in the news for some time now, but for the wrong reasons! With Pune and Nashik, Nagpur had the highest number of Covid cases reported in the media, and not reported as well. The situation continues to be so, even as we go to press. But, we have reason to be happy as we see a silver line amidst the dark Covid clouds, that brings cheers to the city.
18-year-old Alfiya Pathan, a Std. XII student of Pallotti School, Nagpur, has brought laurels to her school, her family and to Nagpur as she returned to the city after winning gold at the World Youth Boxing Championship organised by the International Boxing Association, held on 22 April this year, at Kielce, in Poland. Alfiya won gold, defeating the European Youth Champion Daria Kozorez of Moldova, 5-0 in the final.
A determined Alfiya told reporters the day before the finals in Poland: “I’m very focussed. I know this is a historic fight. I‘m going to let people know that women’s boxing is as exciting as that of men.” She showed the world the next day that she meant every word of what she said!
Daughter of Akram Pathan, an employee with the Nagpur Police, Alfiya had been on a medal-winning spree since 2016, when she took silver in the 80 kg event at the National School Games, and added gold at the Khelo India Games and at the Junior Nationals. In 2019, she won gold at the Asian Junior Girls Championship, beating Kazakhstan’s Diana Magauyayeva 4-1.
Alfiya has been training ever since she was 13 under Mr Ganesh Purohit. Purohit says, “Alfiya is a very talented boxer and a good athlete. She is strong and fast; sleek and smooth, she has got all the tools she needs… She has a keen eye for spotting her opponent’s soft spots, and uses it to her advantage. Though she is only a junior, she has all the pre-requisites for athletic stardom.”
Moin Qazi met Alfiya on her return from Poland, for The Teenager Today, and has sent us the cover story that we bring you in this issue. The Teenager Today feels highly privileged to feature Alfiya, “Nagpur’s Dream Girl,” on our cover this month. Well done, Alfiya! The Teenager Today is very proud of you!