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Olympics: Boxer Lovlina in semis, assures India a medal
Tokyo, July 30 - Boxer Lovlina Borgohain assured India a medal in women's welterweight (69 kg) by reaching the semifinals, beating Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei in a quarterfinal bout at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.
The 23-year-old from Assam is set to become the second Indian boxer after MC Mary Kom to win an Olympic medal. Mary Kom had won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics in London.
On Friday, Lovlina defeated Chen 4-1 on points in the quarterfinals, assuring India a medal as there is no playoff for losing semifinalists in the Olympics.
She will meet Surmeneli Busenaz of Turkey in the first semifinal on August 4, a win assuring her of at least a silver medal.
Up against an opponent she had never beaten in three attempts earlier, Lovlina came out aggressively and attacked Chen from the start, landing a few body blows and left hook-and-jab combinations, winning the round 3-2 after getting 10 points from three of the five judges. Chen got in a few scoring punches but Lovlina defended well and kept the score in check.
In the second round, Chen went on the attack in an attempt to negate Lovlina's advantage but the Indian, who took up combat sport Muay Thai at age 13 before a switch to boxing, used her height and quick feet to keep distance and did not allow her rival any chances to land good scoring punches. Her tactics won approval from the judges as got 10 points from all five judges.
With Lovlina enjoying an overwhelming advantage, Chen went in the hunt for a knockout in the third round but her Indian rival was cautious and maintained her distance and defended well to win the bout 4:1.
This will be India's second medal at the Tokyo Olympics after weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won a silver medal on July 24.
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