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Marcial, Paalam tangka ang finals

Nelson Beltran - Pang-masa
Marcial, Paalam tangka ang finals
Eumir Marcial.

Para makasiguro ng silver medal

TOKYO — Pipilitin nina middleweight Eumir Marcial at flyweight Carlo Paalam, kapwa nakatiyak na ng bronze medal, na makalapit sa Olympic gold sa kani-kanilang semifinal matches ngayong hapon sa Kokugikan Arena.

Lalabanan ni Marcial si Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzhniak sa ganap na alas-3:03 ng hapon (Manila time), habang makiki-pagtuos si Paalam kay Japanese Ryomei Tanaka sa alas-1:30 ng hapon na parehong hangad makasiguro ng silver medal.

Tinalo na ni Khyzhniak ang tubong Zamboanga City na si Marcial sa kanilang bakbakan sa Strandja International sa Bulgaria noong 2019.

“Talo si Eumir sa Strandja. Inayaw ko dahil na-injure si Eumir,” sabi ni national coach Ronald Chavez sa nasabing pagtutuos nina Marcial at Khyzhniak.

Kumpiyansa naman si coach Don Abnett na reresbakan ng 25-anyos na si Marcial, tinaguriang “Mr. Demolition Man” sa Tokyo Olympics dahil sa dalawa niyang knockout wins, ang Ukrainian boxer.

Kailangan naman ni Paalam na mapabagsak o kumbinsidong talunin si Tanaka para makaiwas sa hometown decision kagaya ng nangyari kay featherweight Nesthy Petecio na natalo kay hometown bet Sena Irie sa finals.

Nagmula ang 22-anyos na si Paalam sa panalo kay 2016 Rio Games gold medalist Shakhobidin Zoirov ng Uzbekistan sa quarterfinals.

“We are overjoyed with Carlo’s win over the Rio gold medalist. It was an upset that the coaching staff told me was imminent, but we were still concerned until Carlo came out smoking in the first round. He truly looked like a champion,” ani Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) president Ricky Vargas.

Sina Paalam at Marcial na lamang ang natitira sa apat na boxers na lahok ng Pinas at natitirang pag-asa sa Olympic gold bukod pa kina US Open women’s champion Yuka Saso at Bianca pagdanganan na kasalukuyang kumakampanya sa women’s golf.

Nanalo na ng silver me-dal si Nesthy Petecio kamakalawa habang maaga namang nasibak si Irish Magno.

 

EUMIR MARCIAL
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