Search

Brilliant Begum bags bronze medal

18:15 13 September 2012

Olympic torchbearer Ruqsana Begum won bronze at the IFMA World Championships

Olympic torchbearer Ruqsana Begum won bronze at the IFMA World Championships

Archant

Ruqsana Begum won a bronze medal at the IFMA World Championships in Russia

Ruqsana Begum broke eastern European dominance at the IFMA World Championships to win a brilliant bronze medal in Russia earlier this week.

The Muay Thai kickboxer from Seven Kings reached the semi-final in the -48kg competition, where she lost on points to her opponent from Belarus.

Across the weight categories fighters from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus – who receive funding to be full-time athletes – monopolised the medal places, but among them stood the plucky English fighter.

And Begum – who received a bye in round one and beat an opponent from Mauritius in the quarter-final, before losing her semi-final match on points – was delighted with her performance.

“They’re like superstars over there. I was up against some really tough opponents so I’m very proud,” she said.

“Fighters in Russia and Belarus have funding to train full-time, they have professional coaching and nutritionists, for example, and I gave them a really hard time.

“I knocked my opponent down in the first round of the semi-final, so I was really pleased.

“I’m happy with how far I’ve come and that I’ve won a medal given their resources compared to mine.”

The 28-year-old told the Recorder last week how she was struggling to meet the weight requirements, but the catering in St Petersburg soon amended that.

Begum, a devout Muslim, only eats vegetarian cuisine or halal meat and was forced to live off bread for the week in order to adhere to Islamic dietary law. But the British Atomweight champion admits she will be stronger for her experience.

“It toughens you up and you grow as a person coming to an event like this in a foreign country,” Begum said.

“I was struggling to eat. I was fighting with no food in me and I dropped so much weight in a week.

“Before I flew out I was struggling to get down to 48kg, now I think I’m less than 47kg.

“People tend to skip the night before a fight and sweat enough to get down to the required weight when really they’re bigger than that. I’m now underweight. I think my stomach has shrunk!

“I fly back on Friday night. I’m looking forward to seeing my family.

“Then I’ll speak to my coach and look at my programme for the rest of the year. I’ve been invited to fight in Spain and Mauritius – it’s an exciting time.”

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

15:20
Gemma Rous in action for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Highgate Harriers’ Gemma Rous chose the big stage for her best run yet on Saturday.

South Hampstead's Nish Patel hit 94 and took three wickets. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Captain James Williams believes South Hampstead are definite title contenders after Saturday’s victory over Harrow Town secured a third win from four games in Division Three of the Middlesex County League.

Yesterday, 17:11
Jamie Gibson was the highest scorer for defeated Hampstead with 30. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead endured a disappointing weekend after losing out in their top-of-the-table clash away at Richmond in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Yesterday, 15:21
Hassain Shabbir hit a crucial 60 as North London beat Kenton. Pic: Max Flego

Hussain Shabbir might have been on a food fast, but he feasted on runs instead as basement boys North London finally recorded their first win of the season in Division Three of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder