Carlo Paalam gets Olympic boxing silver in PH’s best campaign yet

By: MARK GIONGCO - Inquirer.net | August 07,2021 - 01:26 PM

FILE — Carlo Paalam of the Philippines bows after his fight against Ryomei Tanaka of Japan. REUTERS PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Carlo Paalam used to pick up garbage with his father in Cagayan de Oro to make ends meet.

A decade later, Paalam, now one of the best flyweight boxers in the world, collected his most prized possession yet: an Olympic silver medal.

Paalam came so close to winning the gold but a silver will suffice after fighting his heart out in a stinging split decision setback to Great Britain’s Galal Yafai in the men’s flyweight final at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.

Despite the loss, Paalam etched his name in history as the Philippine boxing team finished with two silvers and a bronze medal for its best Olympic performance yet.

The Philippines also wrapped up its campaign with four medalists—led by Hidilyn Diaz’s weightlifting gold—for the first time ever.

Featherweight Nesthy Petecio won the country’s other silver medal while middleweight Eumir Marcial took home the bronze.

At just 23 years old, the future is bright for Paalam, who defied the odds on his way to the gold medal match.

Paalam, who was born in Bukidnon before moving to Cagayan de Oro where he was introduced to boxing when he was nine, knocked out Olympic and world champ Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinal before booting out hometown bet Ryomei Tanaka in the semifinal.

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TAGS: boxing, Carlo Paalam, Olympics, silver medal, Tokyo 2020

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