Guwahati, Aug 12 (IANS) Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist boxer Lovlina Borgohain said on Thursday that she would return to the country with a gold medal from the Paris Games in 2024.
During a glittering felicitation programme organised by the Assam government here, the 23-year-old Olympian said: “I appeal to the people to forgive me as I could not return home with a gold (from Tokyo Olympics). But I am happy that I got a medal (bronze) for the country.”
Lovlina said that she never thought of winning a medal in Tokyo, but the blessings of the people and God gave her a lot of strength.
“It was a long journey filled with struggles, which started from an ordinary Baro Mukhia village in Golaghat district. I never ran away from the journey though it was always challenging. I thank my parents and my coaches for their support. I could not have achieved this success without their support,” the boxer said.
Referring to London Olympics bronze medallist boxer M.C. Mary Kom and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, both of whom are from Manipur, Lovlina said that there is no dearth of talent in Assam and the other northeastern states, but what is imperative is encouragement from all quarters.
“We have a lot of talent in our villages. They must realise that they can build a career through sports. The parents and guardians must encourage their children so that they can participate in sports with all sincerity and dedication.
“If we make sports our career, we can remain happy all through our lives,” Lovlina said.
The Assam government has offered Lovlina the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police, along with a cash reward of Rs 1 crore.
The state government has also announced that a road in Guwahati would be renamed after her and a sports complex would be built in her Assembly constituency, Sarupathar, at a cost of Rs 25 crore.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while addressing at the felicitation programme at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati, announced that the state government would provide Rs 1 lakh every month to the pugilist till the next Olympics so that she can prepare well.
He said that the five coaches who helped in the development of Lovilina as a world class boxer would be provided Rs 10 lakh each for their contributions.
“Lovlina’s success has given every Assamese a sense of pride,” Sarma said.