For the Philippines at the Olympic Games, it is already a successful campaign if one athlete from the delegation manages to snag a single medal. The drought periods in many successive Olympics have gotten to the point that one medal can be considered a triumph. But Filipinos should not forget Los Angeles of 1932, the country’s third Olympics appearance (as a US commonwealth). That delegation walked home with three bronze medals. That had been the only time Team PH claimed more than one Olympic medal…until Tokyo 2020/21. Hidilyn Diaz may have already won the first Filipino Olympic gold, but now a female boxer has ensured Filipinos will have more than one medal for these Games.
The Manila Bulletin reports that Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio continues to wow at the women’s featherweight boxing event for the Tokyo Summer Olympics this year. During the quarterfinals held this Wednesday, July 28, the 29-year-old fighter from Santa Cruz, Davao Del Sur made mincemeat of her opponent Yeni Arias Castañeda (age 30) from Colombia. In doing so she advances to the women’s featherweight semifinals, guaranteeing that she will at least leave the event with an Olympic bronze medal…unless she advances to possible silver or Gold.
Impressing the five judges at ringside with her inspired combination attacks, Petecio earned a victory by unanimous decision. Three of the judges scored 29-28 in her favor, with the other two scoring 30-27 likewise. As a quarterfinalist Nesthy is assured of a bronze finish. But if she can beat her semifinals opponent, Italian Irma Tesla, then she will advance to the women’s featherweight finals for an assured silver medal placing even if she loses. But with her earlier wins against Marcelat Matshu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5-0) and Lin Yu-ting of Chinese Taipei (3-2), her prospects are some of the strongest yet for a Philippine Olympic boxer.
But even if this is as far as Nesthy Petecio goes, she has already gone further in revisiting earlier Filipino Olympic glory, by guaranteeing that the country has more than one medal to show for these Tokyo Summer Olympics. That is just one medal away from equaling the quantity won by the 8-man Team PH for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, all of which were bronze (high-jumper Simeon Toribio, bantamweight boxer Jose Villanueva, and swimmer Teofilo Yidefonso who won an earlier bronze in Amsterdam 1928).
Petecio’s fellow boxers Irish Magno (women’s flyweight), Carlo Paalam (men’s flyweight) and Eumir Marcial (men’s middleweight) are yet to face their opponents in the Round of 16 for their respective weight divisions for this week.
Image courtesy of Tatler Philippines