Written by Raktim Sarma
Of the many people who were born on the 2nd of October, two in particular, stand out for rather contrasting claims to fame. One, of course, is Mahatma Gandhi, who we adore for being the apostle of peace, the prophet of non-violence. Nowhere near Mr. Gandhi in terms of fame, but born on the same day, is a 23-year-old girl from Baromukhiya village in Golaghat. In less than a week, we may adore her for her extreme ringside violence.
Don’t be misled by her disarmingly shy smile though. Because with a pair of gloves in her hands and an opponent staring at her, Lovlina Borgohain turns into a relentless force of nature.
The road to Tokyo Olympics 2020 women welterweight semi-finals
Lovlina’s opponent in the round of 16 is veteran German boxer Nadine Apetz. Despite her age (35 years), Apetz has won bronze medals in world championships in her thirties, in 2016 and 2018, and also in the European/EU games in 2018 and 2019.
The winner of this match will meet either Angela Carini or Chen Nien-chin. Chen was the gold medallist in the 2018 World Championships, the event where Lovlina won a bronze. If these two matches look tough enough, harder opposition awaits the winner of this draw.
Top semi-final prospects
Almost certain to reach the semi-finals is top seed 23-year-old Turkish Busenaz Sürmeneli. She is the defending world champion in this weight category. She faces tough competition in 39-year-old Karolina Koszewska in her first match. The veteran Polish boxer blew her opponent away 5-0 in her round of 32 match.
On the other side of the draw, Hong Gu of China awaits. She is the silver medallist in the 2016 and 2018 World Boxing championships.
To sum up
3.4 crore hearts in Assam are fluttering at the thought of a long-awaited Olympics medal to shine by the banks of the Brahmaputra. But while Lovlina is just two matches away from medal glory, she has at least three serial winners on her path in Chen, Surmeneli, and Hong Gu. Irrespective of whether she wins a medal or not, let us hope that she keeps her form on the global stage and continues to participate in many more Olympics. Luckily for her, welterweight boxers seem to participate in the Olympics well into their mid-thirties.
The timings for the next matches in Lovlina’s side of the draw are,
• Round of 16 – Nadine Apetz on Tuesday, 27 July at 10.57 AM
• Quarterfinal – Friday, 30 July at 8.48 AM
• Semi-Final – Wednesday, 4 August at 11 AM
• Final – Saturday, 7 August at 11.45 AM