Punching against the odds, Lovlina Borgohain realises the Olympic dream

As Lovlina Borgohain secures India's second medal at the Tokyo Olympics, let's take a look at her journey to the Olympics podium.

Lovlina Borgohain following her quarterfinal win at Tokyo Olympics
Lovlina Borgohain following her quarterfinal win at Tokyo Olympics

The northeastern states of India have had a tradition of producing strong women athletes and Lovlina Borgohain is one of those gems. started her sporting career as a kickboxer along with her siblings. While her twin elder sisters, Licha and Lima, went on to compete on the national level in kickboxing, Lovlina decided to switch to boxing and she hasn’t looked back ever since

Before the Tokyo Olympics medal put the Assamese in the spotlight, she broke onto the international scene with a bronze medal in the 2017 Asian Championships. Lovlina followed it up with yet another bronze medal in the 2017 President’s Cup before making the cut for the Indian contingent for Commonwealth Games 2018.

While she crashed out in the quarterfinals with a shocking defeat, the loss served as an eye-opener to her as she continued to work on her game with utmost focus. Her hard work paid dividends as she went on to add two more bronze medals to her tally at the 2019 World Championships and the Asian Championships which took place earlier this year.

Lovlina Borgohain’s journey to the Tokyo Olympics

Lovlina Borgohain
Lovlina Borgohain

Lovlina Borgohain bagged her maiden Olympics berth as she toppled Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva in the quarterfinals of the Asian Olympic qualifiers. Borgohain dictated the fight before she won the bout with a unanimous decision. With the win, she became the first Assamese athlete to book an Olympic spot.

Having been born in a middle-class family, Lovlin had her fair share of fights even before making it to the international stage. was born to Tiken and Mamoni Borgohain in the Golaghat district of Assam. Her father, Tiken, is a small-scale businessman and has trouble managing the financials of the family but he never stopped Lovlina or her siblings from following sports.

Despite struggling to make ends meet, Tiken stood beside his daughters and today the entire nation celebrates her. It was this struggle early on in her life that moulded her into the warrior in the ring we witness today.

The final frontier

The Tokyo Olympics was postponed by a year owing to a pandemic that still ravages our planet. While athletes were happy to get an extra year to gear up for the games, Lovlina didn’t have the privilege. She took a break from her Olympics preps to support her family when her mother underwent a kidney transplant.

Upon her return, several members of her coaching staff tested positive for the virus as the country was suffocated by a devastating second wave of COVID-19. Even then she didn’t lose hope and today we witness her on a pedestal vying to change the hue of her World Championship bronze medal into gold at the Olympics.

In a spectacular match, Lovlina Borgohain against Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen in the women’s welterweight category, the Indian ensured her a place in the semi-finals as well as a confirmed medal in boxing. She won the match with a 4-1 decision after an exceptional performance.

Lovlina will go up against the 2019 World Champion, Busenaz Sürmeneli of Turkey on 4th August in the semifinals. This her opportunity to shine on the grand stage and she has all it takes to fulfil India’s long-standing wish of a top-two finish in boxing at the Olympics.

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