The boxer's confident and matter-of-fact statement came in response to a question on what she thought of her medal prospects now that she was assured of a Tokyo Olympics bronze.
“I have to now plan for the semifinal bout,” Lovlina said, adding that her dream has always been to win at the Olympics. She is the second woman boxer from India after Mary Kom to win a medal at the Olympics. Mary Kom won bronze at London 2012.
“This is what I have always wanted. I have sacrificed and missed out on a lot of things. Maybe I will be able to enjoy now after it is over,” Lovlina said.
The 23-year-old defeated Taiwan’s Chen Nien-chin 4-1 in the 69-kg category in the Tokyo Olympics. She had in the past lost to Chen four time times. Lovlina will meet reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the semifinals on August 4.
Even if she was fearless in the boxing ring against a former world champion, Tiken Borgohain, Lovlina's father, did not watch the match.
“I was sitting outside … there were some people watching the match at home,” he said. He said her former coach Prashanta Das told him that Lovlina had performed much better than in the pre-quarters.
“If she continues like this then she will win. Hope she reaches the final,” Lovlina's father said.
The whoops she let out inside the ring after the victory reverberated in nondescript Baro Mukhia village in Golaghat district of Assam from where Lovlina Borgohain hails.
“We are so, so happy,” said Horen Gogoi, her neighbour. “There are crackers bursting all over at Barpathar town (about three kilometres away) and people are performing bihu,” he said.
“We are now looking forward to August 4 and we are certain she will win again,” Horen, who has seen Lovlina since she turned from a kick-boxer into a boxer, said. “Her determination and grit had to pay off someday,” he said.
Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, reacting to Lovlina Borgohain's win, said it was indeed a joyous day. “But the goal should be gold. Let us all pray that she achieves success on August 4 and 7 and brings the gold medal,” he told the media.