Boxer Lovlina Borgohain
Boxer Lovlina Borgohain with coach Sandhya Gurung. (File photo)

Guwahati: Boxer Lovlina Borgohain grabbed the limelight on Friday as she won her pre-quarterfinals bout at the Tokyo Olympics, and moved on to the quarterfinals, assuring India of a second medal at the Games.

The boxer hails from a remote village in Assam. How did she reach Tokyo Olympics?

Born on October 2, 1997, Borgohain hails from a village in Golaghat district of Assam. Following the footsteps of her twin sisters Licha and Lima, she first took up kickboxing. It was only when she met her first coach, Padum Boro, that her life took a turn.

Boro, who worked at Sports Authority of India’s Shillong and Dimapur centres, introduced her to boxing and since then there has been no looking back for Lovlina. Having found her love in boxing, Lovlina was always on the lookout for an opportunity, and it came within a few months.

Also Read | From Sikkim with Love: How coach Sandhya Gurung turned Lovlina into a ‘lion’

SAI was holding the trials at Barpathar Girls High School, where she studied, and Lovlina showed her skills when she took part in the trials. That’s how Boro noticed her exceptional talent started honing it from 2012. In her journey to reach the pinnacle, she battled the society who questioned her interest in boxing being a female. But this did not jitter her aspirations leading to her first major breakthrough; a Bronze medal at the World Championship in 2018. After Qualifying for Tokyo Olympics 2020, she became the first woman in the History of Assam to qualify for the Olympics.

From 2014, Borgohain started making a name for herself internationally. She won the Bronze at Junior Woman World Golden Glove of Vokovodina Boxing Tournament in Serbia; in November 2017, she won Bronze at Asian Championship held in Vietnam; at AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship 2018, she won a Bronze in the 69Kg category, again a Bronze at World Women’s Boxing Championship 2019, held in Russia and at the Asian Boxing Championship held at Dubai in 2020, she bagged a Bronze.

Borgohain had also contracted COVID-19 last year, and the cost of the treatment was borne by the government. She was also given a one-month personalised training camp in Guwahati after her recovery. All her consumable equipment were funded and she underwent a one-month training camp in Assisi, Italy before the commencement of the Tokyo Olympics.

She is supported by TOPS, a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, which has financially supported her for Rs 11,30,300 and ACTC has funded Rs 7,00,215.

Borgohain’s grassroot level coaches are Padum Chandra Boro and Shiv Singh, and her development coaches are Md Ali Qamar and Sandhya Gurung.

She is all set to face reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in her race towards Olympic gold.

Also Read | 5 highlights of Lovlina Borgohain’s career so far

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