Lovlina Borgohain: India's Newest Boxing Sensation
Tokyo Games: Boxer Lovlina Borgohain became only the third Indian boxer to win a medal at the Olympics.
- Lovlina Borgohain won a bronze medal at the ongoing Olympics
- She is a boxer, hailing from Assam
- She has won bronze medals at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships
Lovlina Borgohain was a 14-year-old Muay Thai practitioner in 2012 when she was first spotted by a boxing coach from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Assam's Golaghat district. The youngest of three daughters in a modest family hailing from the Baromukhia village in Golaghat, Borgohain was then selected to train at SAI's training centre in Guwahati. Her switch to boxing has since gone smoothly, the testament to which are her bronze medals at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships and her bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Despite her loss to Turkish boxer Busenaz Surmeneli in the women's welterweight (64-69kg) semifinals on Wednesday, the 23-year-old Borgohain became only the second Indian woman boxer and the third overall to win a medal at the Olympics. Boxing great MC Mary Kom had previously won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Games while Vijender Singh had also claimed bronze at the Beijing Games in 2008.
Borgohain, who was a recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2020, first burst onto scene when she won the welterweight gold at the 2018 India Open, leading to her selection for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) that year. Despite being knocked out in the quarters at CWG, Borgohain ended the year on a high note as she secured a bronze medal on her debut appearance at the AIBA World Championships, held in New Delhi.
In 2019, she returned with another bronze from the World Championships, held in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Borgohain, the first woman Olympian from Assam, also has two Asian Championships bronze medals to her name, having reached the semifinals of the competition in 2017 and 2021.
Borgohain's preparations for the Tokyo Games were hit last year when she had to be hospitalised with COVID-19 just before she was to leave for Italy for a training and competition camp. She also had to accompany her ailing mother to Kolkata earlier this year after the latter suffered kidney complications which resulted in a transplant.
In Tokyo, Borgohain was given a bye to the round of 16, where she defeated Germany's Nadine Apetz in a closely-fought bout. In the quarterfinals, Borgohain got the better of Chinese Taipei's Chen Nien-chin before finally coming up short against 2019 World Championships gold medallist Surmeneli in the semis on Wednesday.