En route to the Philippines’ biggest Olympic medal haul in history, Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio won the country’s second medal out of the four it is already assumed of winning in the Tokyo Games.
Historic silver: Petecio earned her silver medal after putting valiant effort against Japanese opponent Sena Irie in the women’s featherweight boxing gold medal match, reported CNN. Irie won the gold for Japan after outpointing Petecio (5-0) in the judges’ scorecards at the Kokugikan Arena.
- The 29-year-old reached the gold medal round, defeating formidable adversaries, including top-ranking boxer Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei and European champ Irma Testa.
- Making history as the first Filipina Olympic boxing medalist, Petecio won the Philippines’ first medal in boxing since Anthony Villanueva and Onyok Velasco won silver in the 1964 Tokyo Games and the 1996 Atlanta Games, respectively.
- “It means a lot to me because I dedicate this fight for my family, country and my best friend who died,” Petecio was quoted as saying after the match. “I dedicate this medal to my coaches, esp Nolito Velasco. He sacrificed a lot for this competition. This is an important tournament, not for me but my country and coaches.”
More medals coming: The Philippines now has two Olympic medals from Tokyo, with champion weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz securing the country’s first gold and boxers Eumir Marcial (middleweight) and Carlo Paalam (flyweight) still in contention for the gold.
- Paalam, who defeated reigning Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan via split decision Tuesday, is assured of at least a bronze medal finish. He is set to fight Japan’s Ryomei Tanaka in the semifinal round on Thursday, according to Rappler.
- Marcial won against Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan with a K.O. in the first round of their bout on Sunday, securing his Thursday semifinal match against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak. He is also assured of at least a bronze medal.
- Regardless of the outcomes in the Thursday boxing matches, the Philippines have already eclipsed its best Olympic performance yet in the 1932 Los Angeles Games, where three Filipino athletes won medals for the country.