"She was torn between her ailing mother and Olympic preparation" - How Lovlina Borgohain overcame immense difficulties to shine at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Boxing - Olympics: Day 7
Boxing - Olympics: Day 7

Lovlina Borgohain had to endure immense off-field activity prior to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The young Assamese boxer from the Golaghat region suffered from COVID-19 in October 2020 on top of dealing with the mental pressure of an ailing mother.

Sandhya Gurung, a national boxing coach, spoke about Lovlina ahead of her crucial match in Tokyo. She said:

“Lovlina was torn between her ailing mother and Olympic preparation. Despite enduring the pain of being away from her family in times of need, Lovlina didn’t show any sign of discomfort in the national camp. She trained hard and didn’t show her emotions to anyone. It wasn’t the kind of Olympic preparation Lovlina was expecting."

On Wednesday, Lovlina will compete in the semifinal round of the women’s 69kg category at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Sandhya, who has been with the women's national camp since 2010 said the young Assam boxer showed maturity to handle both issues with immaculate ease.

“Due to kidney ailment Lovlina’s mother had to be admitted to a hospital for a long time. It weighed heavily on her mind. We were there to support her but it was indeed a tough phase of her life,” explained Sandhya.

A bout of COVID-19 in October 2020 further complicated things for Lovlina. She was quarantined for two weeks and missed a European exposure tour in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games, said the national coach.

“She had gone to visit her ailing mother. Lovlina tested positive for COVID-19 when she returned to the national camp. She had to miss training for two weeks due to quarantine. But she handled the COVID-19 issue with patience. It points to her mental toughness,” added Sandhya.

Lovlina did not stop her training during the lockdown in 2020

Subhash Basumatary is the regional director of the Sports Authority of India from Guwahati. Subhash said he had given weights and barbells to Lovlina so that she could continue with her strength training at home during the lockdown in 2020.

“During lockdown in 2020 Lovlina had requested for weight training equipment. Since there is no training facility at her village in district Golaghat in Assam, we sent a weight training equipment so that she could keep herself physically fit,” recalled the SAI official.

Despite the off-the-ring emotional hardships, Lovlina stayed focused in the final preparation camp in the Italian city of Assisi, said Sandhya, who was also part of India's boxing team coaching staff.

“Lovilna was in Italy but her mind was back home. It was a major distraction for a young athlete. However, she maintained her composure. She had good sparring sessions in Italy. It gave a big boost to her confidence,” added Sandhya.

India will be hoping Lovlina is rewarded on Wednesday when she takes the ring for her semi-final match at the women’s 69kg category at the Tokyo Olympic Games

Also Read: How an Olympic medal is helping Lovlina Borgohain's village get a proper road

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Edited by Diptanil
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