Pugilist Lovlina Borgohain has been ranked third in the world in the 69 kg weight category by the International Olympic Committee’s Boxing Task Force ahead of next month’s Olympic qualifiers making her the top ranked female Indian boxer.
Among men World championship silver-medallist Amit Panghal (52 kg) has been ranked number one.
Now, the IOC task force will be conducting the Olympic qualifiers and the main event later this year in Tokyo as the International Boxing Association (AIBA) is currently suspended for alleged financial and administrative mismanagement.
“Obviously I’m happy at the development. Earlier I was ranked 5th and now advanced to the 3rd position. It will be beneficial for me in the qualifiers. I’m working hard on my game especially focusing on my speed and reaction among others,” Lovlina said after she learnt about the ranking.
The Olympic qualifiers were supposed to be held from February 3-14 in Wuhan in China but due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, the event was shifted to Jordan. Now the Asian/Oceania qualifying event will take place in Amman from March 3-11.
Now, Lovlina and other Indian boxers will travel to Italy on February 17 for a 15-day training camp. Around seven teams will also join there in training. “I hope this camp will be very helpful for us,” Lovlina added.
Team India High Performance director Santiago Nieva who was in Guwahati recently termed Lovlina as an Olympic medal prospect.
“Lovlina…when I came she was a young upcoming boxer without any big international medal. I remember Raffaele Bergamasco selected her for commonwealth games in spite of the fact that she didn’t have the international experience and I think he was proved right. Last year’s world championship, she won bronze for team India. And now, again this year she has a very close bout in the semi-final and got the bronze. I would rate Lovlina as one of our major Olympic medal hope for next year,” Santiago had said during an interaction with The Bridge.
Lovlina had lost 2:3 to China's Yang Liu in the 69 kg category to win bronze medal in the World Championships last year. In the previous world championship too she had won a bronze medal.
The 22-year old boxer from Assam’s Golaghat has won silver in the 2nd edition of India open that held in Guwahati in May last year. She has won gold in the first edition in Delhi in 2018.