Stanimira Petrova and Stoyka Petrova’s exploits for Bulgaria have helped the nation gain plenty of recognition on the international stage in women’s boxing. Ahead of the World Boxing Championship which will begin in New Delhi on November 15, both champions are gearing up with intensity but they are facing one adversary that is beyond their control.
The Indian capital is suffering from a major air pollution problem and it is causing a major impediment to their training.
“It is very bad. We don't feel good. The air is the worst as compared to everywhere. We have had problems with breathing. It is very hard to train,” Stanimira said with a tired and frustrated look in a chat with News Nation.
On the other hand, Stoyka did not complain about the poor quality of New Delhi’s air but she seemed resigned to the fact that these conditions were far from ideal. “I don't think it is a problem. For every boxer, it is the same,” Stoyka said in a deflated tone.
Stanimira created history when she won the gold medal in the bantamweight category during the 2014 World Boxing Championships in Jeju. The remarkable thing was she achieved the feat on her debut. Following the match, when she was about to get her gold medal, she was humming the song “The Winner takes it all” from the popular group ABBA.
The 27-year-old said the gold medal made her appreciate boxing a lot more. “My life changed a lot. I love boxing a lot more than before. The respect for woman boxing in Bulgaria has increased. The win in 2014 provided more motivation to upcoming boxers in Bulgaria,” Stanimira said.
Stanimira initially had begun her sporting career with taekwando but she made the move to boxing afterwards. When asked about the switch, she bluntly stated her Olympic ambitions. “I don’t think I had a chance with taekwando. I wanted to go to Olympics and thus the switch,” Stanimira said.
On the other hand, Stykova won gold in the European Amateur Boxing Championships in Bucharest in 2014 but she settled for silver in the 2016 World Boxing Championships in the bantwanweight category. The 33-year-old Stykova admits that the success of her and Stanimira has changed Bulgarian boxing.