With an eye on Olympic gold, Lovlina faces Turkish threat in boxing semis
- Lovlina Borgohain will face Turkey's Busenaz Surmeneli in the women's welterweight semis
- Even if she loses the bout, she will return with a bronze medal
- I pray for her success, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said
With an eye on Tokyo Olympics gold medal, Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain will be facing the reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli in the women's welterweight semi-final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, on Wednesday.
Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), who is appearing in her maiden Olympics, assured herself and India of a medal after she upstaged former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei to reach the semi-final.
Even if she loses the bout, she will return with a bronze medal.
Ahead of her semi-final bout, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday led the state in praying. The chief minister lit a lamp at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati at a program organised to wish her luck and pray for her success in the crucial semi-final match.
He said that the best wishes of all in the state were with the ace boxer and "I pray for her success".
The 23-year-old boxer prevailed 4-1 to make the last four. Lovlina, a two-time world championship bronze medallist and the first female boxer from Assam to qualify for the Games, displayed tremendous calm in the face of a plucky opponent, who had beaten her in the past.
Talking about her bout against her Chinese Taipei opponent, national coach Mohammed Ali Qamar said: "She stuck to the plan of counter-attacking and taking advantage of her height. She had tried being aggressive with this girl in the previous bouts and lost. So this time, we told her 'aap khade raho, usko aane do'."
After her quarterfinal bout, talking about the Turkish threat, Lovlina said: "There is only one medal, it is gold. And I will aim for it. Right now, I'm preparing for the semi-finals."
This is the first time that a sportsperson from Assam is all set to win 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 said.
Borgohain is only the third Indian boxer to finish on the podium at the Olympics. Vijender Singh had won the bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, while MC Mary Kom had lost in the semifinal of the 2012 London Olympics.