Lovlina gets historic silver, Parveen takes bronze as boxers end with 5 medals - Hindustan Times
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Lovlina Borgohain gets historic silver, Parveen takes bronze as boxers end Asian Games with 5 medals

Oct 04, 2023 02:32 PM IST

The Indian boxing team ended their Asian Games 2023 campaign with 5 medals (1 silver, 4 bronze). The boxers also earned 4 boxing quotas for the Paris Olympics.

Lovlina Borgohain had a smile on her face throughout the women's 75kg final against China's Li Qian. Not because she was dominating the contest but because she got an early indication that marginal calls would not be going in her favour. It was never going to be easy against a multiple Olympic medal-winning Chinese boxer and the rapturous noise made by the home crowd in the boxing arena in Hangzhou made it doubly difficult but Lovlina, the reigning world champion and an Olympic medalist herself, had to rise to the occasion which she couldn't.

India's Lovlina Borgohain during the final match of women's 66kg-75kg category boxing event against China's Li Qian at the 19th Asian Games, in Hangzhou.(PTI)
India's Lovlina Borgohain during the final match of women's 66kg-75kg category boxing event against China's Li Qian at the 19th Asian Games, in Hangzhou.(PTI)

The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist let the split decision (2-3) that went against her in the opening round of the bout affect her badly. Her wry smiles were a big giveaway that she was unhappy with the officials but what that probably did was take her focus away from landing clear punches on Qian.

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Both boxers were even in the opening round with the Chinese boxer getting the slight edge but as the bout progressed, it slowly became one-way traffic against India. The nail in the coffin to Lovlina's confidence was the penalty warning (one-point deduction) given by the referee in the first minute of the second round. Lovlina was given an informal warning in the first round but the Indian boxer felt her Chinese counterpart was at fault too.

At the end of the second round, four out of the five judges felt Qian was the more impressive boxer while one judge felt both were equal. As things stood, Qian was way ahead of Lovlina in total score and the Indian needed something special in the final round to turn the tables.

Lovlina did put up a brave effort, going for an all-out attack but Qian's defence was too strong. She got the nod of four judges in the final round too while Lovlina convinced only one judge with her boxing.

The final score said Lovlina had lost the bout and with that the gold medal by a unanimous decision. She got silver - India's first at the Asian Games in women's boxing. Mary Kom is the only Indian woman to win boxing gold at the Incheon Games in 2014.

The Indian boxing team ended their Asian Games 2023 campaign with 5 medals (1 silver, 4 bronze). The boxers also earned 4 boxing quotas for the Paris Olympics.

Parveen Hooda gets bronze in women's 57kg

Earlier, Parveen Hooda couldn't overcome the height disadvantage against two-time world champion Lin Yu Ting of Chinese Taipei in the women's 57kg semifinal and had to settle for bronze.

Parveen, who won the 63kg bronze at the 2022 World Championships, went down to Lin via a 0-5 unanimous verdict.

Standing at five feet and seven inches, Parveen was at a disadvantage against Lin because of her height, which made it difficult for her to land scoring punches.

Lin, on the other hand, capitalised on her two-inch advantage. The 2018 bronze medallist pounded Parveen with a range of punches while fighting from afar.

Trailing on all five cards, Parveen tried a more aggressive approach in the second round but the 27-year-old Lin used her experience to ward off the Indian's blows by using her nimble feet.

Parveen did find success sporadically but that was not enough to convince the judges as Lin kept on landing punches consistently.

Lin, who has three World Championships medals to her name, had also grabbed a bronze in the 2023 edition earlier this year, but was disqualified after she failed an eligibility test.

The 23-year-old Indian has already secured an Olympic quota for next year's Paris Games.

Parveen thus became the fourth Indian boxer to leave with a bronze medal at this edition of the Games.

Two-time world champion Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti Pawar (54kg) and Narender Berwal (92kg) all lost in their respective semifinals to sign off with bronze medals.

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