Gangtok: Three women athletes hailing from the state, including Olympic bronze-medalist boxer Lovlina Borgohain’s coach Sandhya Gurung, were felicitated in Sikkim on Friday.

The other two athletes included Manita Pradhan, who scaled Mount Everest in June earlier this year, and Prava Gazmer, who won a medal in the junior women’s category of the National Youth and Junior Boxing Championships held recently in Sonepat, Haryana.

The even was organized by Sikkim Olympic Association and Sikkim Amateur Boxing Association.

The programme was attended by Jacob Khaling, political secretary to the CM, sports secretary Raju Basnet, Sikkim Olympic Association president Kuber Bhandari and Sikkim’s first Olympian Arjuna Awardee Jas Lall Pradhan.

In her address at the gathering, national boxing coach Sandhya Gurung shared her experience of mentoring Lovlina Borgohain.

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“She [Lovlina] had a gold medal when she came from the Junior Nationals, same as her [Prava Gazmer]. We have been associated since 2013 but more since 2016 when she joined the national camp,” Gurung said.

Olympic bronze medalist boxer Lovlina Borgohain (left) with coach Sandhya Gurung | File image

“Lovlina is one of the most disciplined athletes that I know. She is a hard worker. Whatever task is given, there is never a no from her. Before going for Olympics, she had an injury in her right leg, similar to a ligament tear. Despite the injury, she went there, played in the Olympics and came back as a winner,” the coach added.

Gurung said it is a proud moment for her too but said she is not happy with her final performance, something that she has shared with the media earlier too.

Olympic bronze medalist boxer Lovlina Borgohain’s coach Sandhya Gurung being felicitated in Sikkim on Friday

“Yesterday, when she spoke with me, she admitted that she didn’t play well. She lost to a boxer who was 39 years old. Lovlina is scheduled to come back tomorrow,” Gurung added.

Meanwhile, Everester Manita Pradhan said how she had almost given up on mountaineering after two failed attempts in May this year.

“We had three attempts for Mt Everest. The first two attempts were marred by the cyclone, the winds were at a speed of 60-70 km per hour. Finally, we scaled the summit on June 1,” she said.

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When the second attempt failed, Pradhan was of the view that it was not going to happen. “Mountaineering is different, as there are minimal chance for a second attempt. Participation is less, and it is not something that can be visualised through television. There is no coverage as such for scaling a mountain,” she said.

Manita Pradhan, who scaled Mount Everest in June earlier this year, being felicitated in Sikkim on Friday

“We cannot show the struggle of climbing for mountaineers — what we are eating, how we are climbing and how much weight each of our legs are carrying. It is totally different, hence making people understand mountaineering is difficult,” Pradhan said, adding: “Some things are best understood when you are on field.”

Meanwhile, Pradhan urged the sports department of the state to encourage the athletes. “In the coming days, everyone can support. We have so many examples,” she added.



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