Tokyo: Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) advanced to the quarterfinals on Olympics debut. Lovlina Borgohain defeated German veteran Nadine Apetz in a closely-fought last-16 stage bout here Tuesday. Borgohain was the lone Indian boxer in action on the day. She prevailed 3-2 over her rival who is 12 years her senior. Both the boxers were making their Games debut and the Indian became the first from her nine-strong team to make the quarterfinal stage.
The 23-year-old Lovlina showed great poise in a tense contest to triumph by the thinnest of margins. She claimed all the three rounds on split points.
The 35-year-old Apetz was the first German woman to qualify for a boxing event at the Olympics. She is also a two-time World Championship bronze medallist and a former European champion.
Lovlia is a two-time World and Asian championships bronze medallist. She will next face July 30, Chinese Taipei’s Nien-Chin Chen. The latter is seeded fourth and a former World Champion. A win in that bout would assure Lovlina of at least a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Chen was also a silver medallist at the 2019 Asian Championships and defeated Italy’s Angela Carini 3-2 in her pre-quarterfinal bout.
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The Indian youngster, hailing from Assam, was the aggressor in the opening round. However, after that she changed strategy to play the waiting game, drawing Apetz in to punish her on counter-attack. The plan worked out just fine despite the German’s well-placed jabs often troubling Lovlina.
The Assamese boxer relied mostly on her left hooks to keep the slender edge.
Apetz is a pioneering name in German boxing. She is pursuing a PhD in neuroscience, which she put on hold for a year to prepare for the Olympics. Apetz made the Games cut after reaching the semifinals of the European Qualification Tournament last year.