Smashing opener for Ladon, Petecio

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star
Smashing opener for Ladon, Petecio
Nesthy Petecio

MANILA, Philippines — For decades, Philippine boxing has produced Olympians.

And it’s not about to stop now.

Eyeing nothing less than fulfilling her personal vow of another shot at an Olympic gold, Tokyo Games silver medalist Nesthy Petecio re-opened her quest with a smashing opening-round win in Sunday’s World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy Sunday.

The former world champion, 31, was nothing short of breathtaking in her victory over Serbian Andela Brankovic – a swift, merciless referee-stopped contest win halted at the 1.02-minute mark of the first round.

That sent the Davao del Sur pug to the second round where she will battle Romanian Maria Claudia Nechita, a Tokyo Olympian herself who drew an opening-round bye.

Petecio and the rest of the Filipino boxers hope to join teammate, Tokyo bronze winner Eumir Marcial, and pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan to the Paris Olympics set this July.

To achieve that, Petecio would have to thread the proverbial eye of the needle as only two Olympic slots are staked in her division – women’s 57-kilogram – compared to the other classes where a semifinalist would automatically book Paris seats.

Those divisions include the men’s 51kg section where Rogen Ladon immediately went on a prowl with an equally emphatic 4-1 devouring of Italian Emilio Serra Federico. Ladon next tackles Moroccan Said Mortaji.

It wasn’t all sunshine for Team Philippines though as Riza Pasuit was shown the door following a stinging 5-0 defeat to Venezuelan Krisandy Rios.

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