To think, Lovlina took up boxing only in 2012, the year Mary Kom was winning India’s first boxing medal at the Olympics. Today, when a much-travelled legend was unable to figure whether she had won or lost, the apprentice was writing history of her own, borrowing a little from the Manipur icon here, a little bit of Muhammad Ali there and some from Thai martial art Muay Thai.
Something of a hand-medown from her elder sisters, the twins Licha and Lima, Muay Thai was Lovlina’s first love. She was even national subjunior champion once, and on Friday, she was smartly combining it all.
The real impact — and promise — of Lovlina’s bronze is being felt back home. She grew up in the village of Baro Mukhia in Assam’s Golaghat, 300 km from Guwahati. There were no paved roads, and piped water and medical facilities were unheard of. Little has changed in the years since then. Hopefully, Lovlina’s medal will change the fortunes of the village