Nesthy Petecio to go for boxing gold tomorrow
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio guns for the gold medal tomorrow in the women’s featherweight division of the Tokyo Olympics against hometown favorite Sena Irie at the Kokugikan Arena.
The 29-year-old Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur native goes for all the marbles to share the glory with fellow Filipina athlete Hidilyn Diaz who won the historic gold medal for the Philippines last week in weightlifting.
“I’ll go for the gold with everything I’ve got, and I know that if I follow my coaches, I won’t go wrong,” Petecio said, referring to Nolito “Boy” Velasco as well as Australian Consultant Don Abnett, Ronald Chavez, Reynaldo Galido and Elmer Pamisa.
Assured of the silver medal already, Petecio will fight a much younger foe in Irie who is 20 years old. Their gold medal round showdown will start at 12:05 PM (Manila Time).
“This means a lot to me, it’s my dream and this as importantly my father’s dream,” shared Petecio.
Petecio comes from a poor family in Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur. Her father Teodoro toils a small piece of land while her mother Prescilla tends to the family.
“A victory will not only be for me but for my family, and to Filipinos who pray for me,” Petecio said.
Petecio put together close to convincing victories in these Olympics where the boxing competitions are supervised by a special International Olympic Committee body and not the controversy-marred International Boxing Associaton or AIBA.
She had a rousing Olympic debut by beating four opponents en-route to the gold medal round. She defeated Macelat Sakobi Matshu of Congo, Lin Yu Ting of Chinese-Taipei, Yeni Marcela Arias Castañeda of Colombia, and Italy’s Irma Testa.
“If we boxers are working hard, the more our coaches are working hard,” said Petecio, one of three boxers from Mindanao who are championing the country’s bid for gold medals in boxing.
Meanwhile, Carlo Paalam will also be seen in action tomorrow at 10:15AM (Manila Time) against Olympic gold medalist and world champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the men’s flyweight quarterfinals with the hopes of earning another medal for the Philippines.
Also, Eumir Felix Marcial, who already secured the country’s bronze last Sunday will face Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the men’s middleweight semifinals on August 5 at 2:03 p.m. /WITH PR FROM PSC
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