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Lovlina Borgohain assures India of first boxing medal at Tokyo Olympics

Lovlina Borgohain (red) of Team India exchanges punches with Nien Chin Chen of Team Chinese Taipei during the Women's Welter (64-69kg) quarter final on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on July 30, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lovlina Borgohain outsmarted former World champion Nien-Chin Chen to reach the women’s 69kg semifinal and assure India of another medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, July 30, 2021

The two-time World championships bronze medallist gave a fine performance against an experienced opponent to record a 4-1 victory in the quarterfinals.

Lovlina will be the second Indian woman boxer after Mary Kom, and third overall, to clinch an Olympic medal. She has pulled herself up after the disappointing show in the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

The taller Lovlina, who had got a first round bye and had beaten accomplished German boxer Nadine Apetz in the second round, put up an excellent exhibition of long range boxing to stay ahead of her powerful opponent.

As the Indian executed her combinations from a distance, the 24-year-old Chen resorted to holding her opponent and  landing punches whenever there was an opportunity.

Lovlina, nevertheless, had a slight edge in the first round as she managed a 3-2 verdict. 

Chen delivered straight punches in an effort to bridge the gap, but the Indian, showing superb footwork, smartly bobbed and weaved to earn a 5-0 win in the second round.

The 23-year-old from Assam moved out of Chen’s grasp and also landed some scoring shots to take the third round 4-1. 

In the process, Lovlina avenged her defeat to Chen in the 2018 World championships semifinals in New Delhi.

Simranjit bows out

Earlier, Simranjit Kaur, another World championships medallist, lost to two-time Worlds medallist Sudaporn Seesondee of Thailand 5-0 in a women’s 60kg pre-quarterfinal match.

The experienced Thai boxer landed her punches on target even as Simranjit put up a good fight by using her combinations.

Simranjit stepped up her attack in the second round but also provided room for Sudaporn to deliver some fine left shots.

The Indian kept battling it out till the end but could not stop the Thai boxer from advancing.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 7:38:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/lovlina-assures-india-of-first-boxing-medal-at-tokyo-olympics/article35619648.ece

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