Lovlina Borgohain (in blue corner) after her bout on March 22 | BFI

Continuing her rich vein of form, Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) added a third world championships medal to her tally with an emphatic 5-0 win against last year’s world championships bronze medallist Rady Gramane of Mozambique at the ongoing IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi on March 22.

Lovlina Borgohain, Nitu Ghanghas, Nikhat Zareen and Saweety Boora entered in the semis, and world champions Qian, Khalzova and Olympics medallist Irma also secured medals; semifinals to take place on March 23.

The 25-year-old Indian played at the top of her game and displayed a spectacular combination of attack and defence to send her opponent packing by unanimous decision.

“The coaches had told me how to play today and it worked successfully as I was able to fight well. I feel comfortable in this weight category and I have adapted to it well with my performances in competitions going well. Today’s medal is very important for me but I don’t want to settle for bronze as it is going to be crucial for the upcoming Asian Games as well,” said Lovlina after the bout.

Lovlina will take to the ring for a high-profile clash against the 2018 World Champion and two-time Olympics medallist Li Qian of China in the semi-finals.

Earlier in the day, the 2022 Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghanghas made it a hat trick of Referee Stops Contest (RSC) wins after securing a scintillating win against the two-time Worlds bronze medallist Madoka Wada of Japan with the RSC verdict in the second round of the bout. With an attacking approach from the word go, the 22-year-old hardly had to break a sweat against the veteran Japanese and was in complete control of the bout.

The Indian will now take on the reigning Asian champion and last year’s World Championships silver medallist Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan in what will be a rematch of last year’s World Championships quarterfinals.

Following Nitu’s victory, Nikhat Zareen successfully continued her title defence by recording a hard-fought 5-2 win on points after the bout was reviewed against the two-time World Championships bronze medallist Chuthamat Raksat of Thailand. Both pugilists were at the top of their game and gave it their all to emerge victorious in this bout that went right down the wire. However, it was the 26-year-old Indian who utilized her superior technical ability to edge out her Thai opponent and come out on top with the win.

Nikhat will face Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the semifinals.

Contrary to Nikhat, the three-time Asian medallist Saweety (81kg) recorded a dominating 5-0 win against the 2018 World Championships bronze medallist Viktoria Kebikava of Belarus. In what was her first match of the tournament, the experienced pugilist from Haryana was extremely confident throughout the bout and landed strong, accurate punches to seal the win. She will be going up against Emma-Sue Greentree of Australia in her next bout.

Having secured four medals, India have bettered their record from the previous World Championships edition where it had clinched three medals.

Meanwhile, the two-time world youth champion Sakshi Chaudhary (52kg), the 2022 World Championships bronze medallists Manisha Moun (57kg) and Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) as well as Nupur Sheoran (+81kg) went down fighting in the quarterfinals despite their best efforts.

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