We have mentioned in past articles the week before, how the high-medal mark of the Philippines in terms of participation in the Olympics came way back in 1932, during the Summer Games in Los Angeles. A high-jumper, a boxer and a swimmer scored three bronze medals for the country while competing in that West Coast US city which at the time of the Olympics had weather conditions similar to “back home.” The 2020-21 Tokyo Summer Olympics is seeing a repeat of that glorious year as athletes of Team PH have equaled the total medal count, with higher-value medals as well.
Technically, only women’s weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has actually won her medal – a Gold one, even – at the ongoing Summer Olympics in Tokyo. But as CNN Philippines puts it, two of the national contingent’s boxers have advanced sufficiently enough in their weight division events to guarantee a podium finish even if everything goes wrong in their next bouts. First, women’s featherweight bet Nesthy Petecio has made it to the finals match after overcoming Italy’s Irma Testa in the semi-finals this past Satuday, July 31. As for the men’s middleweight division, Eumir Marcial secured his semi-final berth the following Sunday, August 1, after beating Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan.
A wonderful weekend at the Tokyo Olympics was had by Petecio and Marcial, who have both guaranteed a silver and bronze finish respectively following their latest victories at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena. Nesthy was up first this past Saturday, facing the Italian Irma Testa for the first women’s featherweight semifinals bout. Following three intense rounds the Davaoeña fighter secured a near-perfect 4-1 split decision. She will thus face Japanese contender Sena Irie, who blitzed past Karriss Artingstall of the UK in their semifinal match, 3-2.
Come Sunday, the first day of August, it was Eumir Marcial’s turn. He had skipped the Round of 32 and immediately went to the Round of 16, beating Algeria’s Youne Nemouchi with a referee stoppage due to injury. Yesterday’s quarterfinal match pitted Marcial against Arman Darchinyan of Armenia. He is the nephew of 2000 Sydney Olympian Vic Darchinyan, who in his pro career has beaten and got beaten by Filipino fighters; the latter included losses from Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire. Arman may need more experience against Marcial after the Filipino made him endure a standing eight-count, then suffer a full KO with only 50 seconds left in the first round.
Nesthy Petecio will fight for the women’s featherweight Gold against Sena Irie this coming Tuesday, August 3, while Eumir Marcial will get a chance to upgrade his guaranteed men’s middleweight bronze to silver, when he faces Ukranian Oleksandr Khyzhniak for semifinals on Thursday, August 5.
Image courtesy of Inqurer.net Sports