India’s Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) settled for bronze after suffering a 0-5 defeat to world champion Busenaz Surmeneli in an intensely fought Tokyo Olympic semi-final on Wednesday.
Lovlina, the two-time World and Asian championships bronze-medallist, lost all three rounds by unanimous decision, ending her debut stint at the Games with a bronze.
Turkey’s Surmeneli produced a dominating performance in the bout, out-punching Lovlina’s hopes to make the final. Lovlina also coped with a one point deduction in the second round for not paying attention to the referee’s instructions despite a couple of cautions.
The 23-year-old from Assam, who started her career as a Muay Thai practitioner, has become only the third Indian pugilist to ensure a podium finish at the Games after Vijender Singh (2008) and M C Mary Kom (2012).
Earlier on Friday, Lovlina had assured India a medal by defeating Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals. She started the match strongly by securing the first round with a 3:2 split verdict and clinched the second round as well by a 5-0 unanimous decision.
In her Round of 16 bouts, Lovlina had got the better of German veteran Nadine Apetz in a closely fought match. Winning the contest by the thinnest of margins, Lovlina had claimed all three rounds on split points.
Talking about India’s tally at the Tokyo Games, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and badminton ace PV Sindhu have already gone back after claiming a silver and a bronze medal respectively. Lovlina’s bronze is India’s third medal at the Tokyo showpiece so far. Hers is also the first Olympic medal in Indian boxing in nine years.