Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain wrote her name in the history books on Friday, when she beat Chinese Taipei’s Nien Chin Chen in the women’s welterweight quarterfinal 4-1.
With this win, the 23 year old from Assam entered the semifinals and assured herself and India at least a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. In Boxing, losing semi-finalists also get the bronze medal.
However, Lovlina will be aiming much higher. If she wins her semifinal bout, she will be competing for the gold and will be assured of at least a silver. For now though what is confirmed is that India have their second medal at these Games and that Lovlina Borgohain has become the third Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal after Vijender Singh (2008) and MC Mary Kom (2012).
Lovlina will now be up against the reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the semifinals.
Lovlina Borgohain reacts after her victory over Nien-Chin Chen. (AP Photo)
Here’s everything you need to know about Lovlina, the boxer:
Name: Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing)
Date of Birth: October 2, 1997
Birth Place: Golaghat, Assam
Sport/Event(s): Boxing (Welterweight – 69kg)
* Assured medal at Tokyo Olympics
* Bronze in 2021 Dubai Asian Championships (Welterweight)
* Bronze in 2019 Ulan-Ude World Championships (Welterweight)
* Bronze in 2018 New World Championships (Welterweight)
* Bronze in 2017 Ho Chi Minh City Asian Championships (Welterweight)
* Arjuna award – 2020
Lovlina Borgohain reacts after defeating Nien-Chin Chen. (AP Photo)
Lovlina Borgohain won back-to-back bronze medals at the World Championships in 2018 and 2019, before securing an Olympic quota in March 2020 by winning her quarterfinal bout against Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva in the 69kg category in the Olympic qualifiers held in Amman, Jordan.
Lovlina in fact became the first woman from Assam to qualify for the Olympics. In 2020 she was awarded the Arjuna award.
She hails from the Golaghat district of Assam. She has two elder twin sisters, who competed at the National level in kickboxing. Lovlina too started off as a kickboxer. After he switched to boxing, she was spotted by renowned coach Padum Boro, who began training her in 2012.
Last year, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) had sanctioned a Europe tour for elite Indian boxers for a period of 52 days from October to December. But hours before she was about to board the flight to Italy along with the Indian contingent for the training-cum-competition trip, Lovlina tested positive for coronavirus. Lovlina had to miss the flight after contracting the virus, following a visit to her home town in Assam where she went to see her ailing mother.
In an interview with TOI last year, Lovlina had said that with time she has become mentally stronger, all thanks to meditation and not to overburden herself, she also tries to keep her mind out of the game when she is not training or working out. Not only has she improved psychologically, she has also improved as a boxer by leaps and bounds.
Lovlina, who beat German boxer Nadine Apetz in the 69kg pre-quarters will now always be remembered as an Olympic medallist. And all three possibilities – bronze, silver, gold – are on the table for the champion Indian boxer.