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Lovlina Borgohain: A prayer and a punch for Paris 2024

Much has changed since Lovlina won bronze in Tokyo; she is now ecstatic about the prospect of competing in the Olympics for the second successive edition.

Lovlina Borgohain boxing

Lovlina Borgohain is gearing up to compete at the Paris Olympics in the 75kg category. (FILE PHOTO: BFI)


Parashar Kalita

Updated: 8 May 2024 11:02 AM GMT

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain is all set to compete in the 75kg category at the upcoming Paris Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 27.

The star Assamese boxer is ecstatic about the prospect of competing in the Olympics for the second successive edition. Lovlina won the bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

As she prepares for the Paris Olympics, the boxer did not tweak her daily training much, barring adding a few extra minutes to her regime.

"All athletes, all sportspersons dream of playing in the Olympics. As a team, all players and coaches are preparing for this tournament. There is not much difference when we started preparation for a tournament; we practice the same way. But we all know, it is the Olympics, the greatest show on earth. We are doing hard work, some extra training, and preparation to win a medal for the country," Lovlina told The Bridge.

Lovlina became only the second Indian women's boxer after Mary Kom to win a medal in the Olympics three years ago.

She defeated Chen Nien-chin of Chinese Taipei in the welterweight division (69kg) in the semifinal and secured the bronze medal.

As expectations soar this time, Lovlina said, she will use the experience of the Tokyo Olympics and Asian Games in Hangzhou, where she won a silver medal, to get a better result in Paris.

“A player gains a lot of experience by participating in all kinds of competitions, whether she loses or wins. Wins and losses are part of the game. Just as winning is an experience of fulfillment, losing is an experience of learning," remarked the 26-year-old.

Switching to 75kg

Lovlina was a 69kg boxer until the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where a loss to Wales' Rosie Eccles would see her switching to 75kg. She remained unbeaten until the Asian Games final where she lost to China's Li Qian.

In this period, she won the gold medal at the World Women’s Boxing Championship held in New Delhi by defeating Australia’s Caitlin Parker.

Talking about her training and decision-making, Lovlina said, “The coaches are very experienced people. I try to apply the way they train in the game. But in the moment of playing the game, maybe sometimes I make some decisions myself and try to punch, and sometimes that may help me win.”

But she emphasised that she is still learning.

“I still have a lot to learn. I am trying to learn in the time I have for the Olympics. The result is up to God, I am going to the Olympics with the blessings of the country's people. I will try my best in the tournament to make the country proud again,” the pugilist added.

In the 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament, Lovlina suffered a loss by disqualification (DSQ) to Ireland's O'Rourke Aoife in the opening round.

“I am unable to comment on this, as a high level of competition is observed from different perspectives. Maybe I made a mistake or the referee made an unwanted decision. However, I am currently focusing on the Olympics," said Lovlina.

Lovlina, however, is not concerned about who her opponents will be in the Paris Olympics.

“I can't specifically mention anyone, none of my opponents in my sporting career are weak. They are the boxers," she said.

Her philosophy about boxing is also simple- punch back.

"They came up with hard work, training, and experience; they play to win. Every punch they hit is aimed at my face. Sometimes they miss, and when the punch connects with my face or my body, I try to endure the suffering and try to hit back the opponent and go forward," stated Lovlina.

Physical and mental health

The seasoned boxer also said that the well-being of mental health is as important as physical health, and she has her style of staying at peace even in the most difficult situations.

“To establish yourself as an athlete, you must strengthen yourself physically and mentally. As much as you need physical exercise, it will help you prepare your mind to be mentally equally strong. As a boxer, I have to do a lot of physical training and meditation. I light a lantern in the morning and evening and pray to God. That helps me to stay fresh and patient," said Lovlina.

Lovlina advised the young boxers to set goals for the future and work hard.

"I think it is easier to achieve your goals with concentration, hard work, and courage. You have to run to play boxing, you have to do weightlifting, you have to do skipping, you have to do pushups, you have to do all kinds of training. The main thing is to focus on a certain goal," said Lovlina.

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