Debutant boxer Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) assured India their first medal in boxing in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics when she outclassed former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei 4-1 to make it through to the semi-finals. The 23-year-old will now take on reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey, who comes into this match after hammering Anna Lysenko in the quarterfinals. Lovlina, a two-time world championship bronze medal winner looked assured against a stiff opponent who has got the better of her in the past.
The youngster started aggressively and followed it up with a brilliant counterattack to take the lead. She then displayed magnificent defensive technique in the final minutes to emerge victorious.
Lovlina missed the Olympics training in Europe after been diagnosed with COVID-19. However, she rose to the occasion when it mattered the most. She could not control her emotions and screamed in joy as soon as the referee declared her the winner. Vijender Singh (2008) and M C Mary Kom (2012) are the other boxers who have won a medal for India. Both of them had won bronze medals and Borgohain would look to better that.
Earlier, Simranjit Kaur (60kg) lost to Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee in the pre-quarterfinals. The 26-year-old, fourth seed Indian went down 0-5 despite delivering gritty performance. She was impressive in the first round and got Seesondee on the back-foot with her brilliant counter-attacking display. However, the judges ruled the verdict in favour of the Thai boxer. The Indian then got hyper-aggressive in the next round and paid the price for the same. The errors in defence cost her the second round. While she gave her all in the third round, she bowed out following a unanimous verdict.