Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain, along with the men’s hockey team, provided a rare bright spot on Tuesday as she advanced to the quarter finals in 69 kg class in her debut Olympic appearance at the Tokyo Olympics. She defeated German veteran Nadine Apetz in a closely fought last-16 stage bout and is one win away from winning an Olympic medal.
The 23-year-old Borgohain, the lone Indian boxer in action on the day, prevailed 3-2 over her rival who is 12 years her senior. The Indian became the first from her nine-member strong team to make the quarterfinal stage. She showed good poise in a tense contest to triumph by the thinnest of margins as she claimed all the three rounds on split points.
The 35-year-old Apetz was the first German woman to qualify for a boxing event at the Olympics and also a two-time world championship bronze-medallist and a former European champion.
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Borgohain is a two-time world and Asian championships bronze medallist and will next face Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen, who is seeded fourth and a former world champion, on July 30 (Friday).
In badminton, Indian men’s doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty failed to qualify for the quarter finals despite a win over Great Britain today on the basis of winning fewer sets. Chinese Taipei, Indonesia and India have won two matches each in their group.
Shooting community disappointed
Meanwhile, the disappointing show of Indian evoked sharp criticism from former Olympians as Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary crashed out of 10m Air Pistol Mixed team event after finishing seventh in the second stage of qualification round. The other Indian pair of Yashaswini Deswal and Abhishek Verma was knocked out in the first stage of 10m Air Pistol Mixed team event as they finished 17th.
“Now, I would call it a disaster! This (10m air pistol mixed team event) was a calculated and biggest hope from #Shooting #TeamIndia and lets not blame luck… rather everything gained after this can come with the little help of luck!,” tweeted Jaideep Karmakar, who missed a bronze at London 2012 by a whisker and competed in more than 25 World Cups and is the recipient of the Arjuna Award.
Top pistol shooter Heena Sidhu, whose husband Ronak Pandit is the coach of the Indian pistol team in Tokyo, tweeted, “Disappointing show at the 10m range today. Bad bad day for Indian Shooting Saurabh did well, he needed Manu to perform at her end. Disappointing.”
In men’s hockey, the Indian team bounced back after a 7-1 rout to Australia to beat Spain 3-0 on Tuesday.