Boxer Lovlina Borgohain wins bronze after Tokyo Olympics semi-final defeat
- Lovlina Borgohain became the third Indian boxer to get a podium finish at the Summer Games
- The 23-year-old lost to world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey
- This is the first time that a sportsperson from Assam won a medal at the Olympics
India's Lovlina Brogohain took home an Olympic bronze medal after losing to Turkey's Busenaz Surmeneli in the women's welterweight semi-finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday. In a match that was largely dominated by the 2019 world champion, the Indian lost 0-5 in points.
By doing so, she became the third Indian boxer to get a podium finish at the Summer Games. The two other Indian boxers are Vijender Singh (2008 Beijing bronze medallist) and Mary Kom (2012 London Olympics).
Hers is also the first Olympic medal in Indian boxing in nine years.
In the semi-final bout, Lovlina started strong in the first round but her inexperience showed as the Turkish heavyweight negated all her attacks and punches. By the end of the first round, Lovlina seemed on the backfoot as Busenaz grew in confidence.
In the second round, it was the boxer from Turkey who reigned supreme, leaving the Indian high and dry. Her combination of right and left hook proved deadly for the Indian as she was visibly taking hits and didn't look in the game.
Even so, the Indian showed courage and took the fight to the opposition but it wasn't enough as Busenaz made her way slowly into the gold-medal match.
The third round was especially punishing for Borgohain, who faced two standing eight counts during the bout.
The 23-year-old appeared in her maiden Olympics and defeated former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei to reach the semifinals of the event.
The young boxer is already a two-time world championship bronze medallist and is ready to make her own space in the Indian women's boxing landscape, which has been largely dominated by the iconic MC Mary Kom.
Prior to this bout, Lovlina and Busenaz competed in the 2019 championships, where the latter came out as champion, while the former settled for a bronze.
Lovlina started out as a kickboxer before Sports Authority of India coach Padum Boro scouted her after spotting her in Assam's Golaghat district.
She has two elder sisters, who are also kickboxers.
After being introduced to boxing, she made her debut at the world championship in 2018 and came back with a bronze medal and followed it up with another bronze the next year.
After her quarterfinals bout, she had said: "I have started believing in myself, I have stopped caring about what others say, that's how I have become fearless."
This is the first time that a sportsperson from Assam won a medal at the Olympics.
"I follow the footwork & long punch of boxer Muhammad Ali...After I stepped into boxing, I have only heard Mary Kom's name," she had after her quarterfinals bout.
With this, India now has two bronze medals and a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.