Tina Rahimi, Australia’s first Muslim women’s boxer competing at elite international level, hopes to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games by winning gold in the Sol2023 women’s 57kg boxing finals on Saturday at Friendship Hall.
Speaking to the Pacific Games News Service on Thursday following her semi-final victory over New Zealand’s Clare Jennifer Peters, an exhausted but overjoyed Rahimi said: “I was a little nervous in that fight thinking I would gas out. Especially knowing I have an extra layer of clothes and because of the heat, and because she (Peters) is south paw as well”.
Rahimi, who was a bronze medal winner at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, is a debutant in this year’s Sol2023 Pacific Games.
Should she bag the gold medal and qualify for the Olympics, Rahimi will also write her name in history as Australia’s first Muslim women’s boxer to compete at the pinnacle event.
The Sydney-based boxer, who first picked up a pair of boxing gloves at a local gym in 2017, said: “If I win gold in the final here, I will be going to Paris. It will be amazing to go out there and represent my community and my country.
“I know I don’t look like your typical Aussie, so when a lot of people see me, especially on TikTok and Instagram, they say ‘you’re not Australian’. It just makes me laugh how people have this image of an Aussie having blonde hair and blue eyes,” she joked.
“I was born and raised in Australia, and I classify myself as Australian. I’m proud to be Australian and to represent my country.”
Tahimi also expressed her deep appreciation towards her sponsors who have supported her participation in boxing full-time.
By Aaron Ballekom, Pacific Games News Service