Tokyo Olympics 2020, Form Guide: Tracking Lovlina Borgohain's performances over last two years

Tokyo Olympics 2020, Form Guide: Tracking Lovlina Borgohain's performances over last two years

Tokyo Olympics 2020, Form Guide: Tracking Lovlina Borgohain's performances over last two years

Editor's Note: For five years now, Indian athletes have been dreaming to make up for the disappointment of a two-medal haul in Rio. The span has been extraordinary, with COVID-19 having thrown their preparations - and the Olympics itself - off gear. However, in true Olympic spirit, the country's finest sportspersons have battled form and uncertainty to put their best foot forward in what promises to be a Games like none other. In our latest series, we track the last two years' performances of our athletes to give you a ready guide to their form leading into the biggest sporting spectacle of the world.  

Lovlina Borgohain, who competes in the welterweight (69kg) category, has become the first woman boxer from Assam to qualify for the Olympics.

After bagging a silver at the India Open and a bronze at the Strandja Cup, she finally clinched a gold medal at the Umakhanov Memorial Boxing tournament in Russia in August 2019, when she grabbed a narrow 3-2 win over Assunta Canfora in the final. The Italian was the same opponent who had previously beaten her in the India Open final.

In October, she made her second consecutive appearance at the AIBA World Women’s Boxing Championships in Ulan Ude, Russia, and settled for her second consecutive bronze, losing 2-3 against China’s Yang Liu in the semi-final. Prior to the event, she was one of the two boxers (the other one being Mary Kom) who had received direct entry without having to face the trials.

The Assamese boxer secured the Olympic berth in March 2020 in the 69kg category, claiming a 5-0 win over Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva in the Asia and Oceania Boxing qualification tournament. She eventually signed off with a bronze after losing to China’s Gu Hong in a unanimous 5-0 verdict.

Lovlina was rewarded for her consistency with the Arjuna Award in the same year and became the sixth person from Assam to receive the medal.

Coping with COVID-19

Borgohain was full of confidence after securing the Olympic quota but shortly afterwards, the 23-year-old tested positive for COVID-19. Out of action, she eventually had to miss out the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) sanctioned 52-day tour to Europe for elite boxers.

“I tried to keep myself positive and motivated, used to do meditation and I chose to focus on the future possibilities, make myself better,” she was quoted as saying by News18 speaking of that time.

“My journey back to fitness was challenging. When I was home, I did have problems training as I did not have much equipment in the beginning. I was sent some and could finally get back to training again. Initially, after recovering, it was hard to train but slowly and steadily started getting back to form,” she added.

Bronze leading into Games 

In her final competitive event ahead of the Games, Borgohain won bronze in the Asian Boxing Championships in May 2021, suffering a close defeat (2-3) to Uzbekistan’s Navbakhor Khamidova in the semi-final.

Click here to check out form guides for the rest of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.