India’s quest for a second medal at the Tokyo Olympics gained a fillip as Lovlina Borgohain punched her way into the women’s welterweight (69kg) boxing semifinal, which guaranteed her a bronze. During Friday’s quarterfinal, Lovlina defeated Nein-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei through a 4-1 split decision.
The 23-year-old from Assam emerged as the third Indian boxer to secure an Olympics medal, with Mary Kom and Vijender Singh being her successful predecessors. Having had the measure of Nein-Chin, Lovlina is now all set to take on the top-seeded Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the semifinal on Wednesday.
After opening its account through Mirabai Chanu’s weightlifting silver last Saturday, India’s search for another medal had largely run into rough weather through this week before Lovlina lent hope with her feisty performance in the ring.
Lovlina’s rousing stint was a perfect start to a relatively fine day for the Indian contingent even as the shooters and archers fell adrift.
If Lovlina delivered the knock-out base, badminton ace P.V. Sindhu built upon it later in the day as she went past Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi 21-13, 22-20 in the quarterfinal.
Sindhu toyed with Yamaguchi and even when the latter staged a brief comeback in the second game, the former held firm and sealed the contest. The Hyderbadi had won silver in the previous Olympics at Rio de Janeiro. The Indian men’s hockey team then humbled Japan with a 5-3 triumph in a pool A game and is now all set for a quarterfinal face-off against Great Britain. After Mary Kom’s exit on Thursday, the exploits of Lovlina, Sindhu and the men’s hockey squad offered much cheer to the Indian outfit in an Olympics being held in the shadow of a pandemic.
Baromukhia village celebrates its favourite daughter, Lovlina Borgohain
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