The 33-year-old boxer had to engage in combat just to be given the opportunity to compete, but her success at the Olympics and podium finish have vindicated her choice.
Zenfira Magomedalieva started crying as the referee raised her hand to announce her quarterfinal victory at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Everyone could see her emotions, but they weren’t shocking to anyone who knew what she had been through to get to the Olympic boxing ring in the first place.
Magomedalieva put on her first pair of boxing gloves at age 23. She was trying to get in shape and lose weight at the time, having just graduated from college, and the first gym she discovered nearby just so happened to be a boxing studio.
Ten years later, in 2021, she had assured herself and the ROC team an Olympic medal. The bronze medal validated her decision to take up the sport and served as a warning to those who weren’t in favour of her at the beginning of an incredible journey.
The Latest Boxing Triumph From Dagestan, But With a Twist
Magomedalieva is from Dagestan, a part of Russia with a large Muslim population that is renowned for its traditional family values and conservative lifestyle. Wrestling and boxing are popular sports in Dagestan (three boxers from the region advanced to the finals or semifinals of Tokyo 2020), but girls and women who play these sports frequently encounter barriers in their home communities.
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Magomedalieva competed in shot put for a local athletic team while she was a student at the Dagestan Pedagogical University. She chose to try another sport because she didn’t enjoy this one.
“I began to learn how to punch, and soon I was drawn to it. The sport of boxing is very fascinating. Fun stuff, “the two-time world champion revealed to the RBF some of her early boxing experiences,
Her decision was not well-liked by everyone. The boxer acknowledged having to cut her hair short and lose weight in an interview with a local Dagestan newspaper in order to avoid being recognised by her parents when matches were broadcast on television. She feared that her father would forbid her from pursuing her dream of becoming a boxer.
My parents are still able to identify me, she said. And I had to persuade them once I got back to my village.
“Mom didn’t mind at all. She was concerned for both my opponent and I as she watched the fights. My father was opposed to me participating in boxing “.
Magomedalieva, a Boxing Brain, did Succeed in Persuading her Father.
She had more justifications for her position the more victories she had. Because of her success as an amateur boxer, she was soon on the verge of turning pro.
Making the national team was the first step, followed by placing on national competition podiums and an incredible victory at the world championships in Jeju, South Korea, in 2014.
People back home in Dagestan began bragging about her renowned ring speed and strategies.
When Magomedalieva once again won the world championship title in 2019, defeating the Turkish boxer Elif Guneri, her supporters revised the moniker they had given her, switching it from “boxer ring bride” to “the boxing ring master.”
She announced on Instagram that she had earned a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
“The road to success is rocky, but when things turn out well, you realise it was all worthwhile.”
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Rady Adosinda Gramane
Magomedalieva won an Olympic medal in Tokyo thanks to her victory over Rady Adosinda Gramane of Mozambique in the quarterfinal.
She eventually won bronze after losing to China’s Li Qian, a Rio bronze medalist, in the semifinals.
She attracted a lot of attention with her sprint to the podium. Her achievements may encourage other girls in Dagestan to follow in her footsteps, as local celebrities and influencers have been praising her on their social media platforms. After leaving the ring, she has expressed a desire to teach young women how to box, possibly contributing to the history of Dagestani women.