Boxer Lovlina Borgohain hopes to change her medal colour by winning the semifinals

By –Harsh Singh

Insured Bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain will enter the ring at Kokugikan Stadium in Tokyo on Wednesday to look for medals. On her way, Busenaz Surmeneli, the 69-kg defending world champion from Turkey and the best-seeded player in the category.

 If Lovlina wins in the semifinals, she will become the first Indian female boxer to qualify for the Olympic finals. Vijender Singh (Beijing, 2008) and Mary kom (London, 2012) lost in the quarterfinals round.  Surmeneli defeated Karolina Koszewska 5-0 from Poland in the pre-quarterfinal match, and then defeated Anna Lysenko of Ukraine with the same lead in the quarter-final.

Lovlina defeated former world champion Chen Nien-chin from Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals with courage and composure. Before the quarter-finals, the 23-year-old athlete from Assam defeated Nadine Apetz from Germany. Lovlina and Surmeneli have never met, so there is no record between them. Lovlina is 2 inches taller than Surmeneli, and she will try to take advantage of her growth.

 “Since the game took place in the afternoon (Tokyo time), we have been training for two days in the afternoon,” said the women’s national team coach Mohammed Ali Qamar.

“As far as Lovlina is concerned, everything that needs to be communicated strategically is in place. The two people (Lovlina and Surmeneli) have never met before, so this is new territory for both of them,” added. “Lovlina is optimistic and confident about a wonderful game. I believe she can handle it.”

 “The gold medal is the only medal, let me get it first,” Lovlina said, after winning the quarter-finals. Facing the Turkish boxer, she must show the same confidence that helped her defeat Chen. Surmeneli is also 23 years old this year and has won two international gold medals this year. She has 25 wins and 6 losses in her career.  At the 2019 Ulan-Ude World Championships in Russia, under the leadership of Olympian Cahit sume, Surmeneli defeated Chinese player Liu Yang from 4-0 in the final and won the bronze medal in the same match.  As early as 2015, Surmeneli promised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan an Olympic medal.  “First I will give him my (Erdogan) medal, the word is still in my mind. I am an athlete who keeps his promise. After that, I want to give the medal to all my fans,” Surmeneli said on the Olympic website.