Lovlina Borgohain — One medal has done wonders!

Star boxer Lovlina Borgohain speaks to Sportstar about her dream of winning an Olympics gold and also reveals her plan to turn professional after the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Gaining popularity: “My life has experienced some changes (after getting the Olympics medal). Earlier, I was not so busy. Now I am doing a lot of events,” says Olympics bronze medal-winning boxer Lovlina Borgohain.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

The Tokyo Olympics bronze medal has not only elevated the status of Lovlina Borgohain — the third boxer and the second woman from India to win a bronze in the mega event — but also highlighted the contribution of the North-East in the country’s boxing journey.

Interestingly, M. C. Mary Kom, the first Indian woman boxer to land an Olympics medal, is also from the same region.

Following her superb performance in the women’s 69kg category in the Japanese capital, 24-year-old Lovlina, the first individual Olympic medallist from Assam, has become an agent of change in her native place in Golaghat district.

As a leading ambassador of her sport in her State, region and the country, Lovlina attended the first-ever Sportstar North-East Sports Conclave in Guwahati in November and shared her inspiring journey — despite several odds — to Olympics glory.

 

On the sidelines of the event, Lovlina — also a two-time World championships bronze medallist — spoke to Sportstar about her dream of winning an Olympics gold. She also revealed her plan to turn professional after the 2024 Paris Olympics.

After getting the Olympics medal you have been attending felicitation functions, doing photo shoots and other stuff. How have you adjusted to the new lifestyle?

My life has experienced some changes (after getting the Olympics medal). Earlier, I was not so busy. Now I am doing a lot of events. Amid all this, I take care of my training so that it does not get affected. I try to attend as few events as possible. I don’t miss my training. Normally, on Saturdays and Sundays I prefer doing events. Otherwise, I adjust my training accordingly. I don’t think too much. If you think too much about it, then it will affect your game. If you don’t think much, then it will not.

Packing a punch: Lovlina Borgohain lands a punch on Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei during the women’s welterweight (64-69kg) category boxing match at the Olympics in Tokyo.   -  PTI

 

Do you think that the postponement of the World championships will give you more time to prepare better to go for your third medal in the event?

Yes, it was good (that the World championships was postponed). After the Olympics, there was not much time to prepare for the World championships, which was scheduled to be held in December. Training was not up to the mark. Now there is enough time and I can prepare well.

Women’s boxing is gaining popularity in India. How do you see its future in the country?

The future of women’s boxing in our country is very bright as a lot of new boxers are coming up. A lot of kids are taking up the sport and the young ones are working really hard. Women's boxing will do well.

READ: Lovlina, Mirabai concerned about possible exclusion of boxing and weightlifting from 2028 LA Games

Overall, there has been a trend of Indian women taking up combat sports, including boxing, wrestling and MMA. Do you think Indian sport is going in a new direction?

Yes. Women are doing well in the Olympics. I am not saying men are not doing well. Earlier people used to think that women cannot achieve much. But the mindset is changing and parents are letting their daughters come out and take up different sports. The girls are also working hard. This is happening primarily due to the change in mindset.

Do you think sports is emerging as a tool for women’s empowerment in India?

That’s because sports is a field where girls feel a lot more confident. When you stay physically fit, then you don’t fear anything. As the fear is going away, the girls are coming out (to do different things). Of course, sports is one area where women can do wonders.

What changes have come to your area following your Olympic medal?

A lot of changes have happened. A lot of kids are taking up sports now. The construction of a new stadium has started in my area. It is very good for the children in our area. Now, so many kids are coming that it has become difficult to train them until the time the stadium is completed. A lot of development has also happened because of my achievement. One medal can bring so much change! If we win a lot more medals, then just think where Assam will reach!

Inspiring youngsters: Lovlina with her coach Padum Boro at Sportstar’s North-East Conclave in Guwahati. “The future of women’s boxing in our country is very bright as a lot of new boxers are coming up,” says Lovlina.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

 

How do you plan your preparation for the Paris Olympics in 2024?

I have said that my dream has not been fulfilled yet. I aim to win an Olympic gold medal. I am not giving any excuse, but the preparation for the last 2020 Olympics was not great. A lot of problems were there because of Covid. Everybody was clueless how to go about it due to the lockdown. Had there been good training with a good process, then I would have won the gold medal, for sure. Now I have time and I know which areas I have to work on. I know my weak areas and I know how to train. I am confident of winning a gold medal in the next Olympics.

There is a huge question mark over the future of boxing in the Olympics. How big will the loss be if such a thing happens?

I will never want boxing to go through this. I don’t even think about this. It is not in my hands. But (personally) I want to do professional boxing. I will switch to professional boxing after 2024 (Paris Olympics).

RELATED: Lovlina wants to take up professional boxing after Paris 2024

Please tell us more about your plan to turn professional.

It’s my dream to turn professional and do well there. Before that I want to win the Olympic gold medal. After achieving my target in the 2024 Olympics, I will try to turn professional and go for a WBC belt.

This can be the first time in India that an Olympic medallist woman boxer will turn pro.

Yes, there are not too many women professional boxers. And there are very few from India. I want women boxers to do well in professional boxing as well.