Lovlina Borgohain will be in pursuit of history when she meets world champion Busenaz Surmeneli of Turkey in the welterweight women’s boxing semifinal at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.
The Indian boxer, 23, is already assured of a medal, the country’s third in the event after Vijender Singh (Beijing 2008) and Mary Kom’s (London 2012) bronze medals. Here is the lowdown on her semifinal opponent.
Who is Busenaz Surmeneli?
Surmeneli, also 23, is the top seed in the welterweight (64-69 kg) category at the 2020 Summer Games.
Coached by former Olympian Cahit Sume, Surmeneli won the 2019 World Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia, where she beat Yang Liu of China 4-0 in the finals. Lovlina won the bronze medal in the competition.
Surmeneli, who later bagged a bronze in the 2019 European Championship in Madrid, also won the Hungarian Bocskai Istvan Memorial back-to-back in 2020 and 2021.
Zou Jingyuan wins parallel bars gold at Tokyo Olympics
The pugilist, who secured a spot for the Tokyo Games through her performance at the 2021 European Qualifying Event in Paris, also finished first in Feliks Stamm 2017, Ahmet Comert 2018, Grand Prix Usti 2019, and Nations Cup 2021.
In 2015, when the Trabzonspor boxer met Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, she promised him she would win a medal at the Olympics some day.
“I would first present my medal to him, that word is still in my mind. I am an athlete who keeps my promises. After that, I would like to present it to all my fans,” Busenaz was quoted as saying by the Olympics website.