Freeman Cebu Sports

Petecio assures Philippines of bronze, 2 wins shy from Olympics gold

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Nesthy Petecio ensured the Philippines of at least a bronze medal after booting out Arias Castaneda of Colombia by unanimous decision in the women’s featherweight quarterfinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics boxing competition yesterday at the Kokugikan Arena in Japan.

Two judges both tallied 30-27 while the other three had identical scores of 29-28, all for the 29-year-old Petecio who moved two wins away from pocketing another gold medal for the Filipino nation in the quadrennial games that is being contested against the backdrop of global pandemic.

Aside from securing the country’s first boxing medal in 25 years since the silver of Onyok Velasco at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Petecio also assured Team Phl of multiple medals in the Olympics for the first time in 89 years.

The last time the country won at least two medals was during the 1932 Los Angeles Games when it bagged three bronzes courtesy of Simeon Toribio (men’s high jump, athletics), Jose Villanueva (men’s bantamweight, boxing), and Teofilo Ildefonso (men’s 200m backstroke, swimming).

“I am so happy for this moment. This is my first Olympics and I have won my first medal. I don’t really know how I feel right now,” said Petecio, who has already hurdled the biggest stumbling block in her quest for glory by eliminating tournament top seed and world’s no. 1 in Chinese Taipei’s Li Yun-Ting via split decision on Monday.

“This tournament is proving so special to me, I am just so blessed,” she added.

The Davao-native Petecio will face next Irma Testa for a sure silver and a spot in the finals is she gets past the Italian.

As of now, the spirited Filipino fighters are 5-0 in boxing.

They hope to extend their unbeaten streak as Eumir Felix Marcial, tipped to clinch gold in his division, and Irish Magno climb up the ring today.

Marcial will vie for a quarterfinal berth as he takes on Younes Nemouchi of Algeria in men’s middleweight Round of 16 at 10:48 a.m.. Ditto with Magno when she she slugs it out with Jutamas Jitpong of Thailand in the women’s flyweight Round of 16 at 12:24 p.m.

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