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Lovlina Borgohain, making her Olympic debut, has assured India of their second medal at the Tokyo Olympics, after defeating Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the women’s welterweight category (64-69kg).
The 23-year-old boxer from Assam is just one step away from creating history. One more win and she would become the most successful Indian boxer in Olympic history.
While that would be some achievement, Lovlina wants to go all the way and clinch India’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in boxing.
Lovlina Borgohain of #IND outpunches #TPE‘s Chen Nien-Chin in welterweight category (64-69kg) to advance to the semis #Tokyo2020 #StrongerTogether #UnitedByEmotion #Boxing @LovlinaBorgohai pic.twitter.com/JyYlNvGLze
— #Tokyo2020 for India (@Tokyo2020hi) July 30, 2021
“There is only one medal and that is gold, that is what we compete for. I am not thinking about anything right now. Don’t want to stop here, want to win gold,” said Lovlina, during a virtual press conference and made her intentions clear about the ultimate target.
Like most Indian athletes competing at Tokyo 2020, Lovlina comes from a very humble background.
She hails from Baro Mukhia, a remote village in Assam’s Golaghat district, which still lacks basic facilities like drinking water, roads and hospitals, as reported by The New Indian Express.
Boxer Lovlina Borgohain has just won her quarter-final welterweight bout and India’s guaranteed another medal. Now it’s a question of the colour!
And in case you’ve only seen the billboards in Guwahati, this is what she looks like. pic.twitter.com/1iZVM1O77G
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) July 30, 2021
After being neglected for years, the villagers have now pinned their hopes on Lovlina, hoping that an Olympic medal would force the authorities to build the basic infrastructure in their village and make their life easy.
Apart from the country’s hopes, Lovlina has so much riding on her young shoulders but she has not let this affect her game and completely dominated her bout against a former world champion, who had defeated her four times before Friday’s bout.
© Twitter/Lovlina Borgohain
“I enjoyed myself in this bout, played freely. There was no strategy, no plan. I knew her from before, the plan wasn’t even needed. In today’s bout, the key was that I didn’t take any pressure, it would have been counterproductive. I only tried to give my 100 per cent,” said Lovlina, when asked to reflect on her strategy for the quarterfinals bout.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 30, 2021
— Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) July 30, 2021
India is confirmed of 2nd Olympics medal
What a lovely Boxing from Lovlina @LovlinaBorgohai has reached semi-finals and looking for Gold medal in #Tokyo2020 Olympics!#Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/Rc3IU93svF
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) July 30, 2021
Women keep India’s flag flying at the #Olympics.
Boxer #LovlinaBorgohain enters semi-finals of the women’s welterweight category. Assures India a second medal.
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) July 30, 2021
The road ahead is crucial for Lovlina’s gold medal dreams as she will be up against top-seeded boxer from Turkey Busenaz Surmeneli in the semifinals on August 4.
That said, playing to fulfill the dreams of her 2000-odd fellow villagers, she would be extra-motivated and we might see her create history.