Boxing - Lovlina in Turkey
India's Lovlina Borgohain (left) en route to her first round win over Chen Nien-Chin in the 70kg class in Turkey, her first international event after Tokyo Olympics. st compe Image Credit: BFI

Kolkata: Lovlina Borgohain became a sensation when she gave India their only medal in boxing in Tokyo Olympics with a bronze in 70kg class, but life has changed for her in the last eight to nine months. The 24-year-old from Assam has already become of the sports icons from North East, but she now plans to look ahead and strike gold in the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships which got underway in Istanbul on Monday.

There was considerable interest on how Lovlina resumes his career in her first international competition after Tokyo and she did not disappoint by securing a 3-2 win against the former world champion Chen Nien-Chin in the 70kg opening round bout.

The Chinese Taipei boxer entered the match with a 3-1 head-to-head record. She had defeated the Indian in the 2018 World Championships semi-final while on the other hand, Lovlina’s only win against Chen came in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics quarter final enroute her bronze medal haul. Lovlina will take on Cindy Ngamba of Fair Chance Team in the round-of-16 match next on Friday.

“It was my first International bout after the Olympics. After learning so much at the Olympics thanks to my trainers and the support system, I had worked very hard on my game and today, I wanted to gauge my progress. It was a tough bout but with the support of everyone, I could do well. I will keep trying to do well in the coming matches and win gold for India,” Lovlina told the Boxing Federation of India media after the bout.

Assam Police job

The Olympics medal had certainly played it’s part in allowing her to focus on bigger goals when earlier this year, she was appointed as the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Assam Police. “It feels good to have a confirmed job. Now I can serve the country while working in Assam Police but my main focus is sports and winning the medal. I will focus on training and won’t join the duty until retired from boxing,” Lovlina said on receiving the appointment letter from Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Dispur.

The ongoing Women’s Worlds will see a record participation of 310 boxers from 73 countries across the world. In the last edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships held in Russia in 2019, the Indian boxers clinched one silver and three bronze medals. India’s tally of 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver and 19 bronze so far in the 11 editions of the tournament is the third best after Russia (60) and China (50).

The bigger picture for India’s medallists in Tokyo, along with hundreds of other athletes, suffered a slight jolt with the postponement of Asian Games scheduled in Hangzhou, China in September due to a surge in Covid cases.