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Sports

There’s still no quit in Magno

Nelson Beltran - The Philippine Star

TOKYO – Irish Magno had wished for an Olympic medal as a personal gift on her 30th birthday that happened to fall inside the first week of the Tokyo Games here.

Wish not granted.

But she’s not sulking in defeat. No regrets. No tears.

At 30, the Janiuay, Iloilo lady boxer said she would still pursue her dream to win a gold medal in the Olympics.

“Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ako. Hangga’t walang ginto, hindi po tayo susuko. Tuloy lang ang laban,” said Magno, calm and composed even after her shattering loss to old rival Jutamas Jitpong in their Round-of-16 fight at the Kokugigan Arena here yesterday.

In a duel between two fighters that trained together for over a year in the Thai camp, Jitpong proved to be the superior competitor, outboxing Magno and thus ending the clean run of the Philippine boxing team in the Tokyo Games.

“It has been an incredible journey for Irish. She and Jitpong had some lively spars in Thailand the last three months. Reports were that it was quite even. Obviously, today the Thai girl got the better of Irish,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson.

Magno, holder of two silvers and a bronze in the Southeast Asian Games, offered no excuses and took the defeat in stride.

“Ang Olympics po ay hindi basta-basta, lahat naghahanda dahil gustong makamit ang medalya, kaya ibinubuhos lahat,” said Magno.

She did give her best, but Jitpong proved to be an elusive target and the better boxer in her unanimous victory.

It was a near shutout for the Thai, who drew 30-27 scores from four judges and 29-28 from the fifth judge in avenging a loss to Magno in their SEAG semis face-off in Manila in 2019.

IRISH MAGNO
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