Boxer Lovlina Borgohain assured India of their first boxing medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after defeating former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei in women’s Welter (64-69kg) quarterfinal bout to enter the semi-finals on Friday.
The 23-year-old Assam boxer qualified for the semi-final least assured a bronze medal to become only the second female Indian female boxer and third overall after Mary Koma and Vijender Singh to win an Olympic medal. In the semi-final bout, she is all set to take on reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey, who defeated Ukraine’s Anna Lysenko in her quarterfinal bout.
On Borgohain’s win at the quarter-finals bout, national coach Mohammed Ali Qamar was quoted saying that she stuck to the plan of counter-attacking and taking advantage of her height. She had tried being aggressive with the opponent in the previous bout and lost. So this time, he told her ‘aap khade raho, usko aane do’.
Lauding her performance, he said what a cool mind she displayed, never got excited. Never tried to barge in, and executed the plan to perfection. Had she tried to go on the offensive, she would have ended up getting hit, he opined.
Borgohain, a two-time world championship bronze medallist, had secured a 4:1 win in the third and final round of the quarter-final bout to seal her place in the semi-finals. She had won the first round 3:2 with three out of five judges giving the verdict in favour of her and also dominated the second round with judges favouring her unanimously.
So far, Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu had won India’s first medal at the Tokyo Games. She had clinched the silver medal, the first for India in weightlifting, with a total lift of 202kg (87kg snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk).