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Assam MLA proposes sports academy in Olympian Lovlina Borgohain's name


Golaghat, Aug 1: A BJP MLA from Assam, who is supervising the construction of a motorable road to Olympian Lovlina Borgohain's village, on Sunday proposed setting up of a sports academy in the pugilist's name in Golaghat district. Sarupathar MLA Biswajit Phukan said that he has sent a proposal in this regard to the state administration.

Borgohain (69 kg) defeated former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei on July 30 to become the first among the nine Olympian Indian boxers to be assured of at least a bronze medal. "Sarupathar has a lot of potential in sports. We have budding footballers, boxers and athletes. Hence, we have sent a proposal to the state administration for establishing a sports academy in Lovlina Borgohain's name near her village to nurture talent," Phukan told PTI.

"We have already identified 40 bighas of government land in Naharbari village, only 2 km from Borgohain's birthplace, for the sports academy," the BJP leader said, adding he will speak with officials concerned for arranging funds for the project.

The pugilist's father Tiken Borgohain, a small-time businessman, was excited to hear about the proposal and thanked the local MLA for the initiative. Phukan said that the Public Works Department has been working overtime to make the 3.5-km stretch of road from Borpathar to Borgohain's native Baromukhia village in Golaghat district motorable in the next 3-4 days. "The condition of the muddy road leading to Borgohain's village becomes very bad during monsoon. After her last match, a spell of heavy rain lashed the area and the condition of the road worsened. I discussed the matter with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and he instantly ordered the construction of a motorable road, which is going on at a brisk pace," he said. "The first phase of the road will be ready by the time Borgohain returns to India from Tokyo. She will not feel any jerk while coming to her home by car.

This is a gift to her from all of us, "the MLA said.Phukan said the road will be black-topped in the second phase after the monsoon.The boxer's father said that the villagers had earlier complained several times about the poor condition of the road but nothing had happened. "I am happy that a motorable road is being constructed because of my daughter. I am proud of her. The muddy road would have been non-commutable this monsoon," he told PTI. The boxer is expected to reach home in the second week of August, her father said. He was ecstatic at the success of his youngest daughter in the Tokyo Olympics so far, and hoped that she will make Assam and the country proud by winning a gold medal in the sporting extravaganza. Speaking about the pugilist's preparations for the remaining matches, Tiken Borgohain said that his family members are speaking to the boxer every day over video calls and she is very hopeful of her performance.

"We speak in a video conference call with all our three daughters. We don't know much about the technicalities of boxing, so we just wish Lovlina the best. Her mother is more concerned about her health and inquires whether she is having food on time," he said.The boxer's eldest sister is posted at the BSF training centre in West Bengal's Siliguri, while the other sister is working with the CISF at Jodhpur Airport in Rajasthan.Lovlina Borgohain is a two-time world championship bronze medallist and the first female boxer from Assam to qualify for the Olympics. The boxer had tested positive for COVID-19 last year and missed a training trip to Europe because of it. She got infected while visiting her ailing mother Mamoni Borgohain, who underwent a kidney transplant last year. Lovlina Borgohain started as a kick-boxer before Sports Authority of India coach Padum Boro, while scouting for talent in Golaghat district, noticed her.

She then moved to Guwahati from her village to realize her boxing dreams. Boro introduced her to boxing and she took to it like fish to water, winning a bronze medal in her debut world championship in 2018, following it up with another bronze the next year. She is also a two-time Asian Championships bronze winner.

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