Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain on Wednesday (August 4) won the bronze after a 5-0 loss to reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli in the 64-69 kg category in the Olympic semifinals.
Up against quite literally a bully in the ring, Borgohain was completely out-punched by the gold medal favourite, who produced a thoroughly dominating performance.
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The first round went in favour of Surmeneli while Lovlina was given a warning and stripped off a point in the second round for not paying attention to the referee’s instructions despite a couple of cautions. The Indian’s start was not all that bad as she stood up to the strong challenge but she came undone after Surmeneli got down to connecting her vicious hooks and body shots.
Surmeneli won the third and final round. The third round was especially punishing for Borgohain, who faced two standing eight counts during the bout.
Nonetheless, Borgohain goes home a history-maker as the 23-year-old, who started her career as a Muay Thai practitioner, has become only the third Indian boxer to ensure a podium finish at the showpiece after Vijender Singh (2008) and M C Mary Kom (2012).
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Hers is also the first Olympic medal in Indian boxing in nine years. Surmeneli is also 23 and has collected two gold medals this year internationally. The former middle-weight (75kg) boxer claims to have promised an Olympic medal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan back in 2015 itself.
(With inputs from agencies)