Guwahati, Aug 12: Since Thursday morning, the sky was gloomy but the spirit was in high at the premises of Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here. It was around 9.30 am and the most awaited star of the moment – Lovlina Borgohain stepped out from the airport lobby.
"Thank you so much…from the core of my heart," Lovlina told a group of journalists jostling for a sound byte of the champion boxer.
She sobbed for a moment, tried to control her emotions and continued: "I'm lost of words… By your (people of Assam) blessings I could win a medal (in the Olympics) but I'm a little sad that I couldn't win gold. Next time I will try to get gold."
Lovlina has arrived at her homeland for the first time after a year. "It's been a year now… I wanted to be back among my people… to meet my family and loved one," she added. There were more teary affairs as she was welcomed home by a group of friends and fellow boxers at the airport.
"I met Lovlina after a long time…we have been friends and we used to train together. It's a huge moment for us. I have become little emotional to welcome her," Pwilao Basumatary, a prominent boxer, told The Assam Tribune as tears continued to roll over her face.
Pwilao who fights in the 64kg weight category has won several medals for the country. "It is great to see the boxer who trained with us now a medal winner at the Olympics. Also at the same time, I felt a little bad that I couldn't be there," she added.
Among others, there were Bhagyabati Kachari, Jamuna Boro, Ankushita Boro, Kalpana Choudhury and coach Oinam Geeta Chanu to welcome Lovlina.
"I think this is a defining moment for all of us. Boxing is the winner here. Now a lot of youngsters will come up to play the game which is good. I wish her luck," Bhagyabati, winner of multiple international medals, said.
Earlier, Lovlina was received by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at the airport at 9.20 am. Apart from him, state sports and youth affairs minister Bimal Bora and information and public relations minister Pijush Hazarika also felicitated the pugilist.
The office bearers of All Assam Students' Union (AASU) also felicitated Lovlina.