Tokyo Olympics: Fantastic Friday
- Lovlina guarantees second medal
- Sindhu moves into semis in style
- India beat hosts Japan in hockey
Tokyo: It was a day to remember for India in Tokyo. First up, Lovlina Boroghain ensured India's second medal and then PV Sindhu advanced to the semi-final with a straight-set win over Akane Yamaguchi. Finally, at the fag end of the day, it was Manpreet Singh and Co who beat hosts Japan 5-3 to enter the quarter-final of hockey.
Debutant boxer Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) provided the spark that India's Olympic campaign desperately needed with a medal-clinching quarterfinal win. Ace shuttler PV Sindhu re-asserted her status as one of the greats of the sport as the country's athletes enjoyed a largely successful day 7 at the Games here on Friday. Borgohain, the two-time world championship medallist, took a big step in making her own space in the Indian women's boxing's landscape, which has been largely dominated by the iconic MC Mary Kom.
She defeated former world champion Nien-Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei to become the first among nine Indian boxers in fray here to be assured of at least a bronze.
"Isi ladki se 4 baar haar chuki hun (I had lost to her four times earlier), all I wanted to do was prove a point to myself by being fearless against her. I was just looking for revenge," Borgohain said with a wide grin after the fantastic win which has triggered celebrations across the country.
Sindhu overcame a draining challenge from Japan's Akane Yamaguchi to prevail in straight games, the scoreline not quite reflecting the remarkable duel the two ladies were engaged in.
"For me it's time to go back, relax and get ready for the next match. I'm happy but I need to prepare for the next match," was Sindhu's typically business-like response to the 21-13 22-20 win. A win in the next round will set her up for at least a silver medal, which she had also won in the 2016 edition. Meanwhile, the hockey teams had a good day too. Already assured of a quarterfinal berth, the men were clinical in their 5-3 thrashing of Japan in their final group match. They will face Great Britain in the last-eight stage. The women too kept their hopes of moving ahead alive with Navneet Kaur scoring a late winner against Ireland for a 1-0 win.