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Tokyo Olympics: Lovlina Borgohain Assures India Medal in Boxing, Books Place in Welterweight Semis

Lovlina Borgohain of India reacts hearing the judges decision in her victory over Nien-Chin Chen, of Chinese Taipei, in their women's welter weight 69kg quarterfinal boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: AP)

Lovlina Borgohain of India reacts hearing the judges decision in her victory over Nien-Chin Chen, of Chinese Taipei, in their women's welter weight 69kg quarterfinal boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: AP)

Lovlina Borgohain defeated Chinese Taipei's Nien-Chin Chen by 4-1 split decision to book her place in the welterweight semi-finals and assure India a medal.

India’s Lovlina Borgohain secured another medal for India with her win in the quarter-final of women’s 69kg boxing competition Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Lovlina defeated Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen by 4-1 split decision in the quarter-final and will take on Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli in the semi-final.

She had defeated Germany’s Nadine Apetz, a boxer nearly 12 years elder to her, 3-2 to reach the quarterfinals.

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Borgohain, a two-time world championship bronze-medallist, displayed tremendous calm in the face of a plucky opponent, who had beaten her in the past. She was aggressive to start with, followed it up with a tremendous counter-attacking game and kept her defence tight in the final three minutes to emerge triumphant.

The youngster, who was laid low by COVID-19 last year and missed a training trip to Europe because of it, let out a huge scream after the referee raised her hand, pent up emotions finally getting the better of her. India’s previous boxing medals have come through Vijender Singh (2008) and M C Mary Kom (2012). 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 to make an early exit from the Games here. The 26-year-old Indian, seeded fourth, went down 0-5 despite a gritty performance. She was impressive in the opening round and seemed to have caught Seesondee on the back-foot with her measured approach, sticking to a counter-attacking strategy.

However, the judges ruled unanimously in favour of the Thai, causing Simranjit to be a tad reckless in the second round. The Indian paid for the hyper-aggressive approach in the first few seconds itself when Seesondee managed to connect some eye-catching left hooks.

The defensive errors in the second put paid to Simranjit’s chances and even though she gave it her all in the third round, it needed nothing short of a demolition job to get over the line. However, that was not to be as she bowed out following a unanimous verdict. The 29-year-old Thai is a two-time world championships medallist and also won a silver in the 2018 Asian Games.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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first published:July 30, 2021, 09:15 IST