Nikhat Zareen traveled to New Delhi in 2018 to attend the World Women's Boxing Championships as a spectator.
She won her second gold medal in the World Championships at the same site, exactly five years later, with her family watching from the stands.
She won the gold medal on Sunday by defeating Thi Tham Nguyen of Vietnam in the 50kg final. Her toughest match of the competition was still to come.
The strategy Nikhat used in her semifinal fight was to play on the counter and attack with close-range blows.
Although it seemed like a close opening round due to her somewhat hit-and-miss strategy, all five judges gave the round to her.
Tham recovered in the second and defeated Nikhat 3-2 with a flurry of well-placed hooks. The two boxers gave it their all in the third round with everything on the line.
What will I do with the energy I save since this was my last match? In this fight, I wanted to put everything on the line.
In the aftermath of the fight, Nikhat would declare, "I attempted to assault as much as possible.
The Vietnamese devised an amazing hook of her own to get a count imposed on Nikhat as well after striking Tham square in the face, prompting the referee to start counting.
The two continued to trade punches until Nikhat finally finished the round with a late series of jabs.
But this campaign has been anything but simple. Since the 50 kg category is listed for the 2024 Olympics, Nikhat had to lower weight from the 52kg division,
which had presented a number of difficulties. She had to start by losing weight once more. The odds were also not in her favor, to say the least.
Although taking home the gold in 2022 (in the 52kg division), Nikhat was not seeded at the Worlds and was not given a bye in the opening round.
She won her second gold medal at the Worlds by fighting past six boxers. In fact, out of the 12 boxers from India, Nikhat had the most fights with six.