Tina Rahimi will be the first Muslim woman to box for Australia at a Commonwealth Games, having been called up to the team on Tuesday just four years after her first fight.
- Rahimi is one of four women chosen in Australia’s boxing team for July’s Commonwealth Games
- She has a 15-2 win-loss record since her first fight in 2018
- Rahimi will be joined by Kristy Harris, Tokyo Olympian Caitlin Parker, and 37-year-old Kaye Scott, who is competing at her third Comm Games
The boxer from Bass Hill in Sydney, who competes in the 57kg division, is one of eight Games debutants in the boxing team of four women and seven men.
Rahimi, 26, took up the sport for fitness while working as a make-up artist and soon developed a passion, and planned to turn professional, only for COVID-19 and the looming Games to interfere with her plans.
“From the moment I started, I have not stopped. I just loved it,” Rahimi told The Daily Telegraph.
“I was quite good at it and went to a fight night and it really motivated me.
“I felt like I could do it well and started training and had my first fight in 2018.
“I’ve always embraced the physicality. I was never scared to get hit. I even sparred with the boys and I’d get hit by a punch and still come forward.”
With a 15-2 win-loss record, Rahimi has now set her sights on the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this July.
She said being the first Muslim woman to represent Australia in the event could inspire more women and girls from all backgrounds to take up the sport.
“I know that I have the potential and capability to get the gold, so I have really dedicated myself to the sport,” she said.
“It would be a big deal coming from a Muslim background … not many Muslim women have accomplished something like that.
“It’s a big community. I have to wear the hijab to cover my hair and have my arms and legs covered as well, so I do stand out.
“I feel like it would show anything is possible if you put your mind to it. That you can do anything. That just because you dress or look a different way, come from a different religion, that doesn’t mean it should stop you achieving your dream.”
It is the second Australian team announcement for Birmingham, after last week’s confirmation of the weightlifting representatives.
Australia will send 425 athletes to the July 26 to August 8 Games.
Rahimi’s fellow Sydney fighter, Kaye Scott, 37, will become only the second Australian boxer to compete at three Commonwealth Games.
Scott won bronze in the 70kg division at the 2018 Gold Coast Games and will compete in the 69kg category at Birmingham, while Victorian and Tokyo Olympian Caitlin Parker is back after her silver in the 75kg class four years ago.
At 19, South Australian Callum Peters is the youngest member of the boxing team and he will compete in the 75kg division.
Source: ABC News Australia