Lovlina Borgohain went down in the 75kg women’s final to home favourite Li Qian at the Hangzhou Gymnasium on Wednesday and finished with a silver medal on her Asian Games debut.
The Indian boxer was convincingly beaten 0-5 as the Chinese avenged her loss at the World Championships in March. Lovlina, who switched to the 75kg division last year after the 69kg category was dropped from the Paris 2024 programme, will take solace in having qualified for the Olympics next year by reaching the final here.
With local fans in her corner, Qian started aggressively against Borgohain, who struggled to keep pace with the one-time World champion and Olympic silver-medallist.
The Indian seemed to connect with just one jab. It wasn’t a high-octane boxing final by any means, with both Lovlina and Qian involved in plenty of holding, ducking and dodging. The 33-year-old just did enough to land a couple of rights on Lovlina and win the first round.
The second round wasn’t action-packed, with both pugilists looking to take evasive action. Halfway through the second round, Lovlina earned a point penalty, which scuppered her chances of mounting a comeback in the final. The round eventually went to the Chinese, and Lovlina needed a miracle to turn things around.
In the final round, after some more holding, with 30 seconds left on the clock, Lovlin threw in a left jab, which lacked any speed or power in it as Qian side-stepped it with ease. Qian left no room for debates in the outcome of the result when she landed a flurry of clean punches in the final seconds before the referee raised her arms in victory.
After the final, the 26-year-old said, “I’m happy that I got this medal, and I feel a little bit disappointed because I thought I would get a gold medal. But I will try next time, and I will give 100 per cent, and I will definitely get a gold medal.”
In another fight, Parveen Hooda, who also secured the Olympic quota in the women’s 57kg, lost to Chinese Taipei’s Yu Ting Lin 5-0 in the semifinal. The Indian finished with a bronze medal.
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