Tokyo Olympics National

Baromukhia village celebrates its favourite daughter, Lovlina Borgohain

The moment boxer Lovlina Borgohain, 23, secured the second medal for India at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Friday, the sleepy little village of Baromukhia erupted into celebrations. Exuberant firecrackers broke the silence of this otherwise quaint forest reserve village, with a population of around 1,000 people, in Barpathar town, Golaghat district, Assam. Lovlina out-punched Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen to win the women’s Welter 64-69 kilograms. With her win, Lovlina is now assured of at least a bronze medal. Next Wednesday, she is set to face-off against Busenaz Surmeneli from Turkey.

The youngest of three siblings (she has two elder sisters), Lovlina is from a family of farmers. Over the phone, her father Tiken Borgohain, bubbling with excitement, says he is elated at her win and confident she will bag an Olympic gold for the country next time.

Borgohain tells The Hindu, “She is the first sports person in our family. We are more than happy and have been busy answering calls and greeting well wishers. I still haven’t got a chance to speak to Lovlina but I am sure she spoke to Mamoni (her mother).”

With the family unable to control the number of visitors, all intent on celebrating Lovlina’s success with them, the village headmen have made arrangements for them to meet at the local high school. Amid the celebrations, Borgohain reminisces about Lovlina’s journey. He says she first got interested in muay thai boxing classes when a team from Guwahati visited Baromukhia for a demo. She enrolled in classes, and began practising at a local sports club with a coach.

“When she showed an interest in muay thai boxing, we didn’t stop her. We thought it would be a good sport for her to stay fit and healthy. Once she enrolled in the club she began actively taking part in muay thai boxing matches locally.”

He adds that in 2012, when the Sports Authority of India came to the village for selection, Lovlina participated and got in immediately. “Once she began training with SAI, she shifted her focus to boxing and participated in many regional and State-level championship initially. After a few years she was selected in the National and International category and won medals continuously. In 2020, Lovlina won the Arjuna Award, presented to her by President Ram Nath Kovind, for her contributions to India’s boxing scene,” says the proud father, adding that her inspirations include boxers Mary Kom and Muhammed Ali.

Is the family planning a grand reception for her when she returns from Tokyo? “Whenever she is home, we feel happy. As a family, we will shower her with love and thank her for making our country win a medal,” says her father, adding that the welcome will of course include her favourite celebratory meal: pork fry cooked over firewood.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 5:42:39 AM |

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