Lovlina Borgohain made sure of India’s first boxing medal at the ongoing Olympics when she upstaged former World champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei in the women's Welterweight (64-69kg) quarter-finals, in Tokyo, on Friday.
The 23-year-old debutant Assam boxer prevailed 4-1 to make the last-four, where she will square off against reigning World champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey, who hammered Anna Lysenko in her quarter-final bout.
Borgohain, a two-time World championship bronze-medallist, displayed tremendous calm in the face of a plucky opponent, who had beaten her in the past.
She started aggressively and maintained a tremendous counter-attack in the final three minutes to emerge triumphant.
The youngster, who was laid low by COVID-19 last year and missed a training trip to Europe because of it, let out a huge scream after the referee raised her hand, pent up emotions finally getting the better of her.
India's previous Olympics boxing medals have come through Vijender Singh (2008) and M C Mary Kom (2012). Both won bronze medals. Borgohain will be looking to better that.
Simranjit Kaur loses in pre-quarter-finals
Earlier in the day, India’s Simranjit Kaur made an early exit from the Olympics after losing to Thailand's Sudaporn Seesondee in the pre-quarter-finals of the women’s lightweight (57-60kg) boxing.
The 26-year-old Indian pugilist, seeded fourth, went down 0-5 despite a gritty performance.
She was impressive in the opening round and seemed to have caught Seesondee on the back-foot with her measured approach, sticking to a counter-attacking strategy.
However, the judges ruled unanimously in favour of the Thai, causing Simranjit to be a tad reckless in the second round.
She paid for the hyper-aggressive approach in the first few seconds itself as Seesondee managed to connect some eye-catching left hooks.
The defensive errors in the second put paid to Simranjit's chances and even though she gave it her all in the third round, it needed nothing short of a demolition job to get over the line.
However, that was not to be as she bowed out following a unanimous verdict.
The 29-year-old Thai is a two-time World Championships medallist and also won a silver in the 2018 Asian Games.