Lovlina Borgohain made sure of India’s first boxing medal at the Tokyo Olympics when she beat former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of the Chinese Taipei in women’s welterweight (64-69kg) quarterfinals on Friday.
The 23-year-old debutant boxer prevailed 4-1 to make the last-four stage, where she will clash with world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey, who hammered Anna Lysenko in her quarter-final bout.
Borgohain, a two-time World Championship bronze-medallist, displayed tremendous calm against a plucky opponent who had beaten her in the past.
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She started aggressively and maintained the tempo in the final three minutes to emerge triumphant.
The youngster, who was laid low by COVID-19 last year and missed a training trip to Europe as a result, was ecstatic after the referee raised her hand.
Earlier, Simranjit Kaur made an early exit after losing to Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee in the pre-quarter-finals of women’s lightweight (57-60kg).
The 26-year-old pugilist, seeded fourth, went down 0-5 despite a gritty performance.
Simranjit was impressive in the opening round and seemed to have caught Seesondee on the back-foot with her measured approach, sticking to a counter-attacking strategy.
However, the judges ruled unanimously in favour of the Thai, causing Simranjit to be a tad reckless in the second round.
She paid for the hyper-aggressive approach in the first few seconds as Seesondee managed to connect some left hooks.
The defensive errors in the second round put paid to Simranjit’s chances and even though she gave it her all in the third round, it needed a demolition job to get over the line.
However, that was not to be.
The 29-year-old Thai is a two-time World Championship medallist and also won silver at the 2018 Asian Games.