India wins the third medal at Tokyo Olympics: Boxer Lovlina Borgohain creates history!

It's another, and indeed impressive, feather in India's cap as young boxer Lovlina Borgohain has on Wednesday won the Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, which has become the third medal for India in the current edition of the world's biggest sporting event. Though Lovlina has lost the match today and ended her campaign towards a top medal, she has settled down for a Bronze and shared the medal podium in her debut Olympics. Lovlina's triumph of carving history has poured cheers for India when the country, which has sent one of the largest fleets to Tokyo, is still starving for a gold medal. 

Lovlina's feat has brought a moment to the Indian contingent to take a break from setbacks and disappointments as the sporting events that were expected to sparkle at the Olympics and power the country's medal battle had eventually conceded a defeat. The Indian contingent has 127 athletes from champions, experienced players, and young talents. In what has become a promising precedent, India has a mix of 56 women and 71 men representing the country. The Tokyo Olympics is in its final week and India has only won three medals and all three are from women. 

Manipur's Mirabai Chanu has opened India's medal account after winning the Silver medal in the weightlifting competition and PV Sindu has won the second medal for the country after bagging a Bronze in the women's individual Badminton, and now boxer Lovlina has won the third medal for India. 23-year-old Lovlina Borgohain has advanced to the semifinals of the women's welterweight 69kg boxing competition by defeating Chinese Taipei's Chen Nien-Chin in the quarterfinals on July 30. With her victory, Lovlina has assured the medal for India and while the country has hoped that she can put up a magnificent show in entering the finals, it has braced up the fact that she can at least settle for the Bronze medal.

Lovlina was intensely preparing for the battle of entering finals and her semifinal match was scheduled for August 4. On Wednesday, she took on World No 1 Turkish boxer Busenaz Surmeneli. From the beginning of the match, Lovlina has witnessed backlashes and thrashed by the Turkish rival. Right from the start, Surmeneli has dominated Lovlina and built a strong momentum towards her race for the medal at the finals. Surmeneli has won the World Championships in 2019, an event where Lovlina had ended up with a Bronze and the Turkish boxer has entered the ring to take the Indian after defeating Ukraine's Anna Lysenko 5-0. 

Lovlina's has got some blows and warning from the judge and displayed that she is happy for the Bronze. She has lost control of the match as the Turkish boxer kept her dominance and eventually, Surmeneli has defeated Lovlina 5-0 and entered the next level while the Indian boxer is out of the race and assured the nation with the Bronze medal. Surmeneli will be taking on Chinese H Gu in the final bout of the women's welterweight on August 7, one day ahead of the end of the Tokyo Olympics. 

After winning the Bronze medal, Lovlina has been flooded with commendations and compliments from the political leaders and celebrities in India. Lovlina has become the only woman boxer of India to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics and she also has written history by winning a medal at her very first Olympic participation. President Ram Nath Kovind has taken to Twitter and wrote, "Congratulations to Lovlina Borgohain! With your hard work and dogged determination, you have done the nation proud. Your Bronze medal in boxing at the Olympics Games will inspire the youth, especially young women, to battle with challenges and turn their dreams into reality." 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote, "Well fought @LovlinaBorgohai! Her success in the boxing ring inspires several Indians. Her tenacity and determination are admirable. Congratulations to her on winning the Bronze. Best wishes for her future endeavours." Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Anurag Thakur took to Twitter and wrote, "Lovlina, you gave your best punch! India is extremely proud of what you have achieved! You've achieved a Bronze medal in your first Olympics, the journey has just begun! Well done Lovlina Borgohain." It must be noted that of these three medals, two medals were won by the athletes native of Northeastern states.  

Lovlina, a native of Golaghat of Assam, has become the third Indian to win an Olympic medal in boxing after  Vijendra Singh (2008) and Mary Kom (2012) and all three boxers were settled for Bronze. Lovlina was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2020 and won the Bronze medal in the 2021 Dubai Asian Championships (Welterweight) and she has also won the Bronze medal in Ulan-Ude World Championships, New World Championships, and Ho Chi Minh City Asian Championships in 2019, 2018, and 2017 respectively. 

She has become the first woman from Assam to qualify for the Olympics. Last year, the Sports Authority of India had sanctioned a Europe tour for Indian boxers for a period of 52 days from October and December. However, hours ahead of her flight to Italy for training, she was tested positive for the pandemic due to which she had missed the training. She was mentally preparing for the Olympics and her determination and audacity have put her on the medal stage and brought the third medal to India. Currently, India stands at the 62nd rank in the Olympic medals tally with one silver and two bronze medals.