Guwahati: India’s Pride, Assam’s Daughter Lovlina Borgohain brought laurels to the nation by becoming the third Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal at the Tokyo Olympics, when she secured the bronze medal in the Women’s Welterweight category.
Apart from being a bronze medal winner, she is also Assam’s first female athlete and the state’s second boxer to compete in the Olympics.
Today Lovlina celebrates her 24th birthday and on this special day let us know about her journey from being a village girl to winning a medal at Tokyo Olympics.
Lovlina hails from Bada Mukhia village in the Golaghat district of Assam. Lovlina was born on October 2, 1997. Lovlina’s father Tiken Borgohen is a businessman and her mother Mamoni is a housewife.
Her hometown, quaint Baromukhia in the district of Golaghat, exploded with jubilation as the 24-year-old won the medal for the country. The otherwise serene forest reserve village, which has a population of only about 1,000 people, had its sky lit up with firecrackers.
Inspired by her older twin sisters who are national-level kickboxers, Borgohain began her career as a kickboxer as well. When the Guwahati team visited Baromukhia for a demonstration, she became interested in Muay Thai boxing sessions, which prompted her to train and practise with a coach. Borgohain then attended the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) selections at her village and was accepted right away.
After starting with SAI, she turned her attention to boxing and competed in a number of regional and state-level championships. She was picked for the national and international categories after a few years and continued to win medals. Inspired by the likes of Mary Kom and Muhammed Ali, Borgohain received the Arjuna Award in 2020 for her achievements.
Borgohain’s journey to the Tokyo Olympics was not without obstacles, the first being a stressful break from training to visit her mother, who was undergoing a kidney transplant. To add to that, when the country was struck by the second wave of COVID-19, 21 people tested positive inside the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, where the women boxers were training. Although the Olympic-bound boxers were spared, the coaching crew was not so fortunate. Indian women’s boxing high performance director Raffaele Bergamasco and head coach Mohammed Ali Qamar were among those infected with the virus. It was a very difficult time for Borgohain when training stopped, and those who tested positive had to be quarantined. The boxers were confined to their hotel rooms and had to train within them.
Borgohain shone through anyway. Qamar has praised her, saying she has worked on her strength building and her improvement is evident. With the trajectory she has had, Borgohain hopes to win gold at the Paris Olympics.