India’s Lovlina Borgohain had to settle for the bronze medal in the women’s boxing 69kg category after bowing out to reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the semi-finals of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Arena on Wednesday. The 5-0 loss also brings India’s boxing campaign to an end at the Olympics.
The 23-year Indian old had shown extreme promise in her previous rounds when she overcame Germany’s Nadine Apetz in the round of 16 and then followed it with a quarter-final win over Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-chin.
However, she lost her semi-final bout by unanimous decision and bagged bronze since the rules for Olympics boxing state that both the losing semi-finalists are awarded the bronze medal.
The semif-final bout was the first face-off between the two boxers but it was always going to be difficult for young Lovlina, who had to face the might and aggression of the world champion from Turkey.
Tht said, Borgohain did put up a valiant show by standing her own ground but it was not enough as the 23-year old Turk delivered some impactful blows and didn’t allow the young Indian to take advantage of her height.
The first round went to Surmeneli as she gained the lead towards the end through some left scoring hooks which was enough to have the judges rule the round in the Turk’s favour.
Having been put on the backfoot, Borgohain had to take her chances and this is where Surmeneli capitalised on the Assam Boxer’s open guard to land some heavy blows and take round 2 as well.
The final round proved to be no different as the Indian pugilist had little to no answer as Surmeneli went about winning the bout in relentlessly fashion.
“I could not execute my strategy, she was strong, I thought if I play on the backfoot, I would get hit, so I went on the offensive but it didn't work out as I had thought. I wanted to hit her confidence, par hua nahi. She was relentless and that was the problem.” Borgohain said in a virtual press conference after the draining bout.
Despite the loss, Lovlina can be proud of the fact that she became only the second Indian woman boxer after MC Mary Kom to win an Olympic medal and is the first Olympic medallist from Assam.
Kom achieved the feat at the London 2012 Olympics. The only Indian men’s boxer to win an Olympic medal is Vijender Singh, who won a bronze at Beijing 2008.
Featured photo : SAI Media