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Overcoming Covid, Former Kickboxer Lovlina Borgohain Fights Her Way to Olympics Glory

By: Sports Desk

Last Updated: July 30, 2021, 09:59 IST

 Lovlina Borgohain assured India its second medal at Tokyo 2020 when she beat Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen in a 4:1 split decision in women’s welterweight quarter-finals (AFP Photo)

Lovlina Borgohain assured India its second medal at Tokyo 2020 when she beat Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen in a 4:1 split decision in women’s welterweight quarter-finals (AFP Photo)

Lovlina Boroghain next faces top seed Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in her semi-final bout set for August 4.

In her debut Olympic Games Assamese boxer Lovlina Borgohain assured India its second medal at Tokyo 2020 when she beat Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen in a 4:1 split decision in women’s welterweight quarter-finals to reach the semi-finals. Losing semi-finalists are awarded bronze medals in boxing. Borgohain had largely gone under the radar from the Boxing contingent to the build-up to Olympics, with the likes Mary Kom, Amit Phangal, and Vikas Krishan in the spotlight. Borgohain who shot to fame in 2017 after she won a bronze medal at the Asian Boxing Championships in the Women’s Welterweight category, beat Germany’s Nadine Apetz 3:2 in the Round of 16.

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Boroghain next faces top seed Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in her semi-final bout set for August 4.  Borgohain will get bronze even if she loses. Mary Kom and Vijender Singh are the only Indian boxers who have won an Olympic medal before.

Borgohain hails from the Golaghat district of Assam and comes from a middle-class family. While her father is an owner of a small local business, her mother is a house maker. Borgohain also has two siblings and both of them are national-level, martial artists. Borgohain, initially, started her career in kickboxing but later switched to boxing. Borgohain followed up her Asian Championship Bronze with another blockbuster performance at the President’s Cup held at Astana, Kazakhstan, where she finished at the third spot as well.

Borgohain qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in March 2020 by winning the Asia and Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament. She won the event by defeating Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva in the 69kg Welterweight category.

Soon after she contracted Covid-19 and was out of action after she traveled to her hometown to meet her ailing grandmother.  She hence missed the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) sanctioned 52-day Europe tour for 16 elite Indian boxers.

“I had contracted Covid-19, it was a challenging time as my health did not allow me to train at all,” Lovlina had told News18.com, in an interview.

“I tried to keep myself positive and motivated, used to do meditation and I choose to focus on the future possibilities, make myself better,” she had said.

She is the first female athlete from Assam to represent India in the Summer Games and came into Tokyo Games as a two-time World Championship bronze medallist. She took up combat sport Muay Thai at age 13 before a switch to boxing. “She was influenced by her older twin sisters who were trained in martial arts. “After realising that the form of martial art we have been practising is not a recognised Olympic sport, I decided to go for boxing.” She took up the sport seriously after Indian boxing coach Padum Boro recognised her talent during a trial at the Sports Authority of India. “Boxing is everything for me. Aside from the tactical or technical aspect of it, boxing taught me the lesson to be a better person. One thing I’ll always cherish is that boxing gave me the power to embrace my failure,” Borgohain had told the Oympic Channel.

Major Achievements

World Championships

Bronze medal – Welterweight, 2018 New Delhi

Bronze medal – Welterweight, 2019 Ulan-Ude

Asian Championships

Bronze medal – Welterweight, 2017 Ho Chi Minh City

Bronze medal – Welterweight, 2021 Dubai

Tokyo Olympics Qualification

Lovlina Borgohain qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in March 2020 by winning the Asia and Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament. She won the event by defeating Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva in the 69kg Welterweight category.

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first published:July 30, 2021, 09:33 IST
last updated:July 30, 2021, 09:59 IST