Lovlina Borgohain wiped out the bad memories of having been dumped out of the World Championships and Birmingham CWG in the early stages of the competition while Saweety Boora made it a hat-trick of medals as the Indian women boxers reigned supreme at the Asian Championships. They won an impressive four gold medals to conclude their campaign in the continental meet with seven podium place finishes in Amman last week.
Lovlina, Saweety, Parveen Hooda and Alfiya Pathan won titles in their respective weight divisions to produce one of the finest shows by Indian boxers at the Asian meet.
This was the third-best performance by the country’s women boxers at the championships in terms of winning gold. India had won seven gold medals in 2005 and five in 2003. Minakshi (52kg) had to settle for a silver after she went down 1-4 against former Youth World championships bronze medallist, Japan’s Kinoshita Rinka, in the final.
Parveen opened India’s gold medal account with a facile 5-0 win over Japan’s Kito Mai in her 63kg category final. The Indian, who had won bronze at the Istanbul Worlds, unleashed a flurry of punches and multiple right hooks on her opponent to leave her gasping for breath. The Rohtak-born boxer was impressive with her open guard and straight jabs during her maiden outing at the Asian level.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina, who was competing for the first time in the 75kg category, outclassed Uzbekistan’s Ruzmetova Sokhiba with a similar 5-0 scoreline, showcasing strength, athleticism and a resolute defence. Her combination punches and precise foot movement inside the ring ran Sokhiba out of ideas.
Such was Lovlina’s dominance that her Uzbek opponent, a 2021 Asian silver medallist, was given a standing count by the referee. The victory brought redemption to the Assamese boxer, who had copped criticism for her listless show at the Istanbul Worlds and Birmingham CWG. Lovlina has moved up from her original 69kg to 75kg division as her former weight class doesn’t feature in the Paris Olympics programme.
For Saweety, it was a hat-trick of Asian medals after she thrashed Kazakhstan’s Gulsaya Yerzhan 5-0 in the 81kg class final to end her seven-year long wait for the gold medal. She had won silver in 2015 and bronze in 2021. The former World championships silver medallist was in no mood to settle for another second-place finish this time round and came out all guns blazing in demolishing the defence of Yerzhan.
In the +81kg category, Alfiya – up against local favourite Islam Husaili – handed the country its fourth gold from the tournament after her opponent was disqualified by the judges towards the end of the first round.