Lovlina Borgohain has assured herself of a medal at the Tokyo Olympics after winning her welter-weight quarter-final bout on Friday.
The 23-year-old is now among the last four boxers in her category after she beat former world champion Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei 4-1 and now is in line to become the third Indian boxer after Vijender Singh and Mary Kom to win an Olympic medal.
Before this match, Lovlina had lost to Chen four times.
"I knew I lost to this girl four times before. So, it was a challenge for me to prove to myself. I never thought about proving to others. I thought this was a golden opportunity for me to take my revenge of previous losses against her. There was no strategy while going to the ring. Whatever situation was there, I will handle it there itself. I am happy I bagged the chance to do well. I played whole-heartedly and enjoyed it," said a smiling Lovlina in a press interaction from Tokyo.
She was firm on her next target: a gold medal. "I don't want to stop at bronze. I want to go for the gold. Medal is only one. That is gold. For that I have to prepare and plan for the semifinal fight."
When quizzed about her fearless attitude in the ring, Lovlina quipped that she was fearful at the start. But she started to gain confidence by trusting herself. "I wasn't like this before. I used to fear a lot earlier while playing in competitions. Slowly, the fear started to go away after coming into boxing. Earlier, when I used to enter the ring, I had fear in me. But when I started to trust myself and stopped caring about what people said that's how I began to play fearlessly."
Before the Olympics, the youngster had missed a training trip to Italy last year after testing positive for COVID-19 a day before departure. She had come back from a two-day trip to her hometown of Bora Mukhia in Assam's Golaghat district to visit her ailing mother. The virus robbed her of crucial training and exposure.
"Because of the virus, I missed my tour to Italy. There were very less international competitions too. I missed one competition due to it. The feel of competitiveness in the ring was very less. Even sparring was very less. But I thought how to do well if sparring is not there? I trained that way. My coaches and everyone around supported me to do well," said Lovlina.
(With inputs from IANS)
. Read more on Olympic Sports by The Quint.'Gold Is The Only Medal,' Says Lovlina Borgohain After Entering Tokyo SemisOld Video From Bangladesh Given a False Communal Spin in India . Read more on Olympic Sports by The Quint.