Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) brought home India's second bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics after shuttler PV Sindhu as she went down swinging in her 69kg welterweight semifinal against Busenaz Surmeneli on Wednesday (August 4). Lovlina became just the second female boxer after MC Mary Kom to win an Olympic bronze medal. Mary Kom had won the 2012 London Olympics bronze.
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.
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 Borgohain, who faced two standing eight counts during the bout.
Nonetheless, Borgohain 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 MC Mary Kom (2012). Hers is also the first Olympic medal in Indian boxing in nine years.
India's @LovlinaBorgohai goes down to Turkey's Surmeneli Busenaz in the semifinal of the 69 Kg weight category 0-5 to win a bronze medal at the #Tokyo2020
With this she becomes the third Indian pugilist to win a medal at the Olympics.
Stay tuned for more updates. #Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/Corn5mpFof
— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) August 4, 2021
Surmeneli is also 23 and has collected two gold medals this year internationally. The former middlewight (75kg) boxer claims to have promised an Olympic medal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan back in 2015 itself.
Borgohain is no novice either and has secured two world championship bronze medals so far in her career.
(with PTI inputs)