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Lovlina makes history on Olympic debut, assures India another medal in Tokyo

Lovlina Borgohain with the Indian coaching staff after her victory on Friday (Image courtesy: Twitter/BFI_Official)

Boxer Lovlina Borgohain has assured India its second Olympic medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympic Games after beating Taiwanese boxing star Nien-Chin Chen 4-1 in her quarterfinal bout Friday morning.

Even as the big guns in the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics continued to bow out of the Games in various disciplines, the 23-year-old put up a stellar show to emerge victorious against Chen who is known as 'boxing queen' in Taiwan for her superb record.    

The first woman boxer from Assam to qualify for Olympics, and the only sportsperson from the state competing in Tokyo, Lovlina is assured of at least an Olympic bronze as both losing semi-finalists get a medal at the Games.

India have won two medals in boxing at the Olympic Games so far with Vijender Singh winning the bronze in 2008 and Mary Kom adding the second bronze to the tally in 2012.

In Tokyo, India have just a single medal it its kitty so far with weightlifter Mirabai Chanu winning a silver on the opening day of the Games.

As Lovlina jumped in joy after winning the quarterfinal, entire India started celebrating the Assam boxer's feat.

Tokyo Olympics Lovlina

Making her Olympic debut on Tuesday, Lovlina beat 35-year-old Nadine Apetz from Germany 3-2 in the women's welter (64-69kg) round of 16 to set up a quarterfinal bout with Chen.  

Born on 2nd October, 1997 in Assam's Golaghat district, Lovlina, just like her twin sisters Licha and Lima, started off as a kickboxer first. She was introduced to boxing by her first coach Padum Boro who worked at the Sports Authority of India's Shillong and Dimapur centers.

The journey from 2012 to 2018, when she represented India at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, was filled with some exceptional performances, both at home and abroad.  

With medals from the Asian Championships, the India Open and the President’s Cup among others – and two bronze from the World Championships being the jewel in the crown – Lovlina received the Arjuna Award in 2020.

After finding success at some of the most prestigious tournaments, she was also touted as one of Indian boxing's most consistent performers.

Back home, prayers and even bicycle rallies – one of which saw the participation of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma – were organised to support and motivate 'Assam's daughter' Lovlina.

As many as nine Indian pugilists were in the fray to win medals for the country in Tokyo.

Also Read: One punch away from an Olympic medal, Lovlina raises a billion hopes