Guwahati: Assam boxer Lovlina Borgohain lost the semi-finals against Turkey’s Busenaz Surmeneli, winning a bronze medal for India at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.
Lovlina went down against her Turkish opponent by 0-5 in the 69 kg category.
With this, Lovlina has brought home India’s third medal at Tokyo 2020, and is the third pugilist after Vijendra Singh and MC Mary Kom to win a medal at the Olympics.
Up against quite literally a bully in the ring, Borgohain was completely out-punched by the gold medal favourite, who produced a thoroughly dominating performance.
The Assam boxer also coped a one point deduction in the second round for not paying attention to the referee’s instructions despite a couple of cautions.
“I don’t know what to say. I could not execute what I had planned. I could have done better,” Borgohain told PTI after the loss.
The Indian’s start was not all that bad as she stood up to the strong challenge but she came undone after Surmeneli got down to connecting her vicious hooks and body shots.
The third round was especially punishing for Lovlina, who faced two standing eight counts during the bout.
Nonetheless, Lovlina goes home a history-maker as the 23-year-old, who started her career as a Muay Thai practitioner, has become only the third Indian boxer to ensure a podium finish at the showpiece after Vijender Singh (2008) and M C Mary Kom (2012).
Hers is also the first Olympic medal in Indian boxing in nine years.
Surmeneli is also 23 and has collected two gold medals this year internationally.
The former middle-weight (75kg) boxer claims to have promised an Olympic medal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan back in 2015 itself.
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