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Dhaka Tribune

Double-gold winner Zinnat: Only Paris Olympics is in my mind

United States-based Bangladeshi boxer Zinnat Ferdous gave an exclusive interview to Dhaka Tribune where she talked about her first venture in Africa as well as upcoming Olympic goals

Update : 25 Apr 2024, 10:46 PM

Zinnat Ferdous bagged back-to-back gold medals in two international boxing tournaments in Dominican Republic and South Africa. She is the only Bangladeshi fighter to achieve the feat. After defeating her Ethiopian opponent in the gold-medal event of the first Mandela African Boxing Cup in Durban last week, the United States-based boxer gave an exclusive interview to Dhaka Tribune where she talked about her first venture in Africa as well as upcoming Olympic goals. Here are the excerpts:

What’s the significance of winning gold in South Africa?

It was meaningful. I think I was the only Asian to participate. To be able to represent Asia and Bangladesh was obviously very important. I’m very proud to have been there. It was interesting to be only Bangladeshi. Many people didn’t expect me to win. I’m happy I did.

How do you prepare yourself?

I have been training last two years non-stop. My vision has always been to get a spot in the Olympics. I never skipped training. In boxing you have to be ready whenever the opportunity comes. It came in a hurry. I bought ticket two days before the flight. Everything happened so last minute. Nothing was planned. But I was ready and it was just a matter of finding the opportunity.

How was the competition environment?

It was my first time participating in Africa. Every country has unique culture. It was expectedly difficult but I felt comfortable. I had two fights and won both. It was something I knew I was capable of.

You must be more confident now ahead of Olympic qualifiers…

Of course. Two weeks before going to Africa I was in another tournament in Dominican Republic. I fought three bouts there. I won all three. It was my first gold. I won gold in back-to-back tournaments.  

How do you manage time for boxing beside a full-time job?

It was not easy. It was very hard. At one point, I got used to it. I tried to balance it and over time I made the balance. I have been mentally prepared for the Olympics. So I got better with it.

Two golds within a month must boost your confidence…

Unfortunately, I couldn’t perform to my expectation at Asian Games in China last year. But I knew I have it in me. These recent fights are proof that I belong here. I was excited to show my skills in South Africa and Dominican Republic. It was important to get the experience.

What’s your next goal?

I want to qualify for the Olympics. Bangladesh always send fighters through wild cards. I want to change the trend. I want to be the one who can qualify for the Olympics and World Championships. That’s my next goal. The Olympic qualifier is due next month. Then the Olympics. If I get something in between I will accept. Now only the Paris Olympics is in my mind.

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