Lovlina Borgohain, a bronze medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, began her campaign in the 12th IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul with a thrilling win on Monday.
In the 70kg opening round, the 24-year-old star Indian boxer put on a spectacular performance to win 3-2 against former world champion Chen Nien-Chin.
The Chinese Taipei boxer had a 3-1 head-to-head record going into the match. She had beaten the Indian boxer in the World Championships semi-finals in 2018. According to a Boxing Federation of India release, Lovlina’s only win over Chen came in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics quarter-final en route to her bronze medal-winning victory (BFI).
Both boxers began cautiously and kept their distance from each other. The boxer from Assam, making her first appearance on the international circuit after her heroics in Tokyo, showed no signs of rustiness and landed some timely punches.
Both boxers exchanged heavy punches in the second and final rounds. Chen, who won gold and bronze medals at the World Championships in 2018 and 2016, respectively, tried to attack, but the quick-moving Indian managed to block with a good defence technique, tipping the match in her favour.
On Friday, Lovlina will face Cindy Ngamba of the Fair Chance Team in the Round of 16.
On the second day, Nitu, the only Indian boxer competing, will face Romania’s Steluta Duta in the 48-kg opening round.
Shiksha (54kg), Manisha (57kg), Ankushita (66kg), and Nandini (+81kg) are the four Indians who have received a bye in their respective opening rounds.
This year’s event also marks the 20th anniversary of the prestigious event, which will be played until May 20th, with a record participation of 310 boxers from 73 countries around the world.
Indian boxers won one silver and three bronze medals at the 2019 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, which were held in Russia. India has the third-highest medal tally in the tournament’s 11 editions, with 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver, and 19 bronze (50).
(Inputs from IANS)