Gandhinagar: Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain rates her gold medal win at the 36th National Games as a confidence booster ahead of the all-important Asian Championships, starting on October 30 in Amman.

For the champion boxer from Golaghat, this was her first medal of any colour in the 2022 season, which, by her standards has been a forgettable one before the gold in Gandhinagar. At the World Championships, Lovlina was ousted in the pre-quarterfinals after losing to Cindy Ngamba of Fair Chance Team 1-4.

In Birmingham, the 25-year-old once again failed to impress and crashed out of the Commonwealth Games after suffering a split decision verdict loss to Wales’ Rosie Eccles in the quarterfinals.

Lovlina, who had created an uproar on Twitter after her personal coach Sandhya Gurgung was denied the games accreditation to stay with her at the Games Village, was subjected to criticism following her premature ouster.

Determined to make the most of the break post the CWG heartbreak, Lovlina decided to move from the 69kg welterweight category to the 75kg middleweight division before a nose injury during a training session jeopardised her chances of testing herself at the National Games.

However, the Assam girl decided to take part in the Games, confirming her entry at the last minute.

“I picked up the injury during a fight (training session), and the doctors advised me three weeks of rest. Thankfully, I recovered in time to take part at the National Games.” 

“Every competition matters a lot. It was very important for me to take part at the National Games to assess myself in the higher weight category at the Asian Championships,” Lovlina told EastMojo in an interview.

“The competition level was good here, so that will help. The feeling was good in the final but I was not happy about the earlier fights. I need to train more and focus on my performance,” she added.

The two-time world championship bronze medallist said that shifting to a higher weight category demands more power in her punches for which she has been working on at the national camp in NIS, Patiala. “It isn’t easy and needs a lot of effort. The most important thing is to increase my weight. When you jump to a higher weight, you need to work on your strength.”

“I need to change my diet and training to fit well into the new weight category. I need to exercise to build muscles,” said Lovlina, adding that 75kg is an old weight class and will require double the effort to emerge successful among a few renowned names.

“I have just come into this category. Let’s see how it goes and then I will decide how many events I need to participate in,” she added.

With the National Games gold in her cabinet, Lovlina now targets the Asian Championships, (considered a tougher tournament), to keep herself in good shape for next year’s Asian Games, which will also serve as an Olympic qualifying event.

“I have to take part in different competitions. I need to compete more to improve my ranking as the Olympic qualifier is different this time. I think I can improve by the Asian Games,” she said with hope.

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