Sunday, March 26, 2023, Khadija Mardi wrote her name in golden letters by snatching the title of world champion. She beat Konjibayeva Lazat of Kazakhstan, the world champion in 2016. With this achievement, Khadija Mardi became the first African and Arab woman to sign such a feat.
These championships witnessed the participation of about 300 female boxers representing 70 countries, including Morocco. Khadija Mardi’s gold and Yasmin Mottaki’s bronze (45 kg) allowed Morocco to occupy fifth place in the world in New Delhi.
“I swear to work. Overcoming myself over and over again to milestones is part of the mentality of a great athlete. You have to know how to cultivate it with patience. I never gave up, I always believed in my beautiful star despite the obstacles. The precious Gold was always in my eyes. The main thing is to know How you get up and fail should be a motivator, not a hindrance.”
For a long time, her family did not accept Khadija to play this “men’s sport”, but with time she managed to convince them and they have since followed many of their daughter’s fights
But in 2014, while in Marrakesh to participate in a tournament, Khadija Mardi won her match against her opponent and her mother fainted in the audience, only to die a few hours later in the hospital. The next day, despite the pain, she takes part in her final fight, only to win.
As a reminder, Khadija Mardi’s international journey began in October 2019 in Russia, when she presented Moroccan women’s boxing with the first medal in the World Championships, after she stopped her quest for gold in the semi-final stage (-75 kg). The champion managed to get the bronze medal, as she returned to the competition after being absent from the circuits since 2017 due to pregnancy.
During the World Championships that were held at the end of May 2022 in Turkey, Khadija Mardi signed her big comeback. Morocco presented silver, the first in the history of women’s national boxing. The silver medal created a sensation for the simple reason that Morocco did not win any medals that year in boxing.
After a series of successes, but also disappointments, especially the painful absence from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was declared a loss by the medical team of the Royal Moroccan Boxing Federation, Khadija intends to return strongly to the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Thus, the 32-year-old Moroccan is the first African and Arab athlete to win the gold medal at the World Amateur Women’s Championship in New Delhi, India.