Marcial finally reunited with boxing teammates in Tokyo for Olympics

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Marcial finally reunited with boxing teammates in Tokyo for Olympics
Eumir Marcial in Tokyo
Twitter / POC

MANILA, Philippines — Eumir Marcial has reunited with countrymen Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam in Tokyo, Japan wafter training separately during the pandemic and in their pursuit of delivering the country's first Olympic gold medal.

Marcial planed in at the Haneda Airport early Saturday from Colorado Springs where he spent the final phase of his training while Magno, Petecio and Paalam followed suit moments later from Thailand where they held a camp since March this year.

“Dito na kami,” said Petecio, who was accompanied by coaches Ronald Chavez and Nolito Velasco and Australian consultant Don Abnett.

It marked the first time the four got to see each other in person since face-to-face training started early this year with Marcial flying to Los Angeles, California late last year for his pro debut and the three were sent in a bubble training camp at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna in January before proceeding to Thailand.

"They are now at the Olympic village and met by our secretariat," said Association of the Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson.

The four had a chance to compete together in the ASBC Elite Men’s and Women’s Championships in Dubai last May but Magno, Petecio and Paalam were pulled out in the last minute due to quarantine restrictions, leaving Marcial to fight with several non-Olympic-bound teammates.

Visa problems also prevented Marcial from joining the rest of the national team in Thailand last month.

Marcial was instead sent to Colorado Springs by the ABAP for a few weeks to train.

Petecio, the 2019 World Championship gold medalist, will be the first to see action as the women’s featherweight class starts next week.

Magno is next in the women’s flyweight division unfurling the next day while Marcial and Paalam, who are entered in the flyweight and middleweight categories, respectively, are entering the ring on July 26.

Boxing have qualified the most number of athletes among other sports in the country that gave it the best chance to end country’s long search for en elusive Olympic mint.

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