Boxing: Lovlina Borgohain chases historic Olympic final berth
A medal already secured, Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) will be in pursuit of history when she takes on reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the Olympic semifinals in Tokyo on Wednesday, aiming to become the first-ever Indian boxer to advance to the games final. The 23-year-old from Assam started her career as a Muay Thai practitioner.
Borgohain is third Indian boxer to ensure podium finish
Borgohain has become only the third Indian boxer to ensure a podium finish at the showpiece after Vijender Singh in 2008 and Indian ace boxer MC Mary Kom in 2012. Hers is also the first Olympic medal in boxing in nine years and the aim now is to reach where none before her has reached, the finals.
Strategy has been conveyed to Borgohain, she is ready: Coach
"Since the bout is in the afternoon, we have been training in the afternoon daily for past two days," National Coach Mohammed Ali Qamar said. "As for Lovlina, all that needs to be conveyed in terms of strategy has been conveyed to her and she is ready. These two have never faced each other before so it is unchartered territory for them," he added.
Borgohain had defeated Nien-Chin Chen in the quarter finals
"She is very upbeat and confident about a good performance and I am sure she will deliver," the coach said. The boxer herself seemed pretty clear about her path ahead after the quarter-final win over former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of the Chinese Taipei. "Medal to bas gold hota hai, let me get that first," she had said.
Borgohain has shown remarkable composure for a debutant at Olympics
Borgohain has shown remarkable composure for a debutant at the sport's biggest extravaganza. And it is this poise that might do the trick for her against the imposing opponent from Turkey, who is seeded top in the draw.
Surmeneli promised an Olympic medal to Turkish President in 2015
Surmeneli is also 23 and has collected two gold medals this year internationally. The former middleweight (75kg) boxer claims to have promised an Olympic medal to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan back in the year 2015 itself. Borgohain is no novice either and has secured two world championship bronze medals so far in her career.
Borgohain and Surmeneli had competed in the 2019 championships
In fact, both Borgohain and Surmeneli competed in the 2019 championships, from where the latter came out a champion, while the former settled for a bronze. The two, however, did not face-off after landing up in different halves of the draw.