Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated boxer Lovlina Borgohain on winning a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics and said her tenacity and determination are admirable.
Borgohain (69kg) signed off with a bronze medal in the Olympic Games after a comprehensive 0-5 loss to reigning world champion Busenaz Surmeneli.
Modi tweeted, "Well fought @LovlinaBorgohai! Her success in the boxing ring inspires several Indians. Her tenacity and determination are admirable. Congratulations to her on winning the Bronze. Best wishes for her future endeavours. #Tokyo2020."
"I don't know what to say. I could not execute what I had planned. I could have done better," Borgohain told PTI after the loss.
The Indian's start was not all that bad as she stood up to the strong challenge but she came undone after Surmeneli got down to connecting her vicious hooks and body shots.
The third round was especially punishing for Borgohain, who faced two standing eight counts during the bout.
Surmeneli was unrelenting in all three rounds after being unsettled only slightly in the opening few seconds when Borgohain tried to keep her at long range and struck only counter-attacking straight hits.
The flamboyant Turkish boxer didn't just out-punch her rival after that but also taunted her with some showboating, including dropping her guard to dare the Indian.
Nonetheless, Borgohain goes home a history-maker as the 23-year-old, who started her career as a Muay Thai practitioner, has become only the third Indian boxer to ensure a podium finish at the showpiece after Vijender Singh (2008) and M C Mary Kom (2012).
Hers is also the first Olympic medal in Indian boxing in nine years.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur lauded her effort.
"Lovlina, you gave your best punch! India is extremely proud of what you have achieved! You've achieved a Third place medal in your first Olympics; the journey has just begun! Well done @LovlinaBorgohai," Thakur tweeted.
Former sports minister Kiren Rijiju wrote: "Dear @LovlinaBorgohai, you have made our country proud! Hearty congratulations on winning Olympic Bronze medal! We are extremely proud of your achievement!"
Boxing Federation of India (BFI) president Ajay Singh hailed her as a "future World Champion" and a "role model".
"Meet our future world champion @LovlinaBorgohai.So proud of this young 23 year old women. She fought the best boxer in the world with grit and determination and earned the first Olympic boxing medal for India after 9 years. Truly a role model for young women our country," he tweeted.
Vijender wrote: "And it's bronze in boxing. Proud of you #LovlinaBorgohain."