Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain had a dream debut at the Olympics in Tokyo as she has returned with the Bronze medal. But the 23-year-old pugilist feels that everything is now in the past as she looks to prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Lovlina became the only third Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal after Vijender Singh and MC Mary Kom. While it is such a big feat, the journey till here was very tough for the 23-year-old pugilist hailing from a village named Baromukhia in Assam.
She highlighted how she made several sacrifices to come to this stage. She stayed away from her family for several years and could not stay with them during their problems. She also gave up her desires and did miss a single training session only to see this day.
“My first sacrifice was to stay away from my home for the past eight years and not being there for my family in times of their problems and watching from a distance. This is the biggest sacrifice,” she said.
“Personally, I have sacrificed some desires that youngsters like me would have. For example not eating things that so many others of my age eat (fast food), I wouldn’t take leave from training to concentrate on the game. And this continued for eight years,” she revealed.
The Assamese boxer is all set to take a break and then again start working on areas she needs improvement to earn a better medal from Paris in 2024. This Olympics is done and dusted. I will have to start afresh in every aspect, not just one,” she said.
She highlighted that she intends to improve on a lot of technical aspects. Especially her strength and conditioning as she look to add more power to her punches. “It is not like strength and conditioning hasn’t been worked on. It was being done. You can say it was not up to the level of what it should have been ideally. I could work on my strength and conditioning only in the last four months of what was a four-year cycle.
“I was benefited by the work but for something as big as the Olympics, four months is not enough. You need such work in a four-year cycle,” Lovlina added.
Lovlina defeated Chinese Taipei’s World Champion Nien-chin Chen who has already defeated her four times in the past. But the youngster battled her past demons to progress to the semifinals. She revealed that it was a moment of relief for her and that scream after the win was an expression of the emotions and also a tribute to the support I got from my countrymen.
“For so many years, several emotions were just inside me, I had internalised them. But in this Olympics, when I realised the support that I was getting from the country every time I was stepping in the ring and landing any punch, that scream was an ode to that support and emotion,” she explained.
“It was an expression of my own pent up emotions and also an ode to the support that I got.”