BIRMINGHAM: star Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain doesn’t lose sleep after her shock quarter-final exit and says success at the Commonwealth Games wouldn’t have helped her much in her quest for a second consecutive Olympic medal in 2024, as she was competing in a category not Olympic at Birmingham CWG.
Lovlina, who became the only second Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal in Tokyo last year, competed in the light-middleweight category (66kg-70kg), which is not on the Paris Games roster 2024.
“That’s why the CWG wasn’t that important to me because my main focus is Paris and it wasn’t an Olympic weight class. It wouldn’t have helped me much in the larger scheme of things,” Lovlina told PTI in an exclusive interview here.
“Yes, the Commonwealth Games have a big stature, there’s no doubt about that. But my focus is Paris and getting ready is the main focus.”
In her first CWG appearance in Gold Coast in 2018, Lovlina also suffered a similar fate, retiring in the quarter-finals.
“Every defeat or victory is an experience. And I take this defeat in a positive way. I have to work on myself.
“The ultimate goal is Paris, whatever the difficulties, I have to overcome them. Life has many ups and downs but ‘haar nahin maan na hai’ (it’s not about giving up).”
She made headlines for all the wrong reasons while preparing for the CWG by alleging ‘mental harassment’ after her personal trainer Sandhya Gurung was refused entry to the Games Village. Sandhya was added to the contingent a few days before her fight.
“Yes, I was a bit distracted in the preparation for the Games. But luckily everything was sorted out before the competition. I had my coaches.
“But I feel like it didn’t affect me. There was a lot of publicity but I was away from social media. I wasn’t aware of what was going on around me. Even now, I kept to get away from this.”
She further regretted the lack of exhibition trips that happened several times before Tokyo.
“Before, Tokyo used to have a lot of exhibition trips. But after Tokyo, there were no such exhibition meetings and directly competed in the World’s Championships.”
Lovlina, who won Olympic bronze in the 69kg category, will now either have to move up to a higher bracket of 75kg or go down to 66kg.
“I will mainly drop to 75kg, but you never know that I can also go down to 66kg. We will take the call before the next Asian Championships, I will switch to my new weight from there.”
After overwhelming New Zealand Ariane Nicholson 5-0 in a unanimous verdict, Lovlina lost to Rossie Eccles by a 3-2 split decision.
It was as close as it gets, but the judges gave Lovlina both rounds by split decision. Lovlina also got a second-round points deduction for holding and Eccles won the final round overall, sealing it 3-2.
“She was a bit aggressive. Being from the host country, she obviously had a little advantage, the warning cost me dearly. There was also a bit of stress,” conceded Lovlina.
“I’m sad that I couldn’t achieve what I wanted. But I take it positively. You always have ups and downs. Coming back from here is more important.”