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PH Olympic Medal Tally Now At Four

Filipino athletes continue to make history at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics! 

After Hidilyn Diaz won an Olympic gold medal for the women’s 55 kg category for weightlifting, Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio bagged a silver medal in the final clash of the women’s 54-57 KF featherweight division. She went head-to-head against Japan’s bet Irie Sena on August 3 at the Kokugikan Arena.

Despite the very close fight, Sena won via unanimous decision with her excessive clinching that fended off Petecio. All five judges scored the bout in favor of Sena, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28. (Read: Weightlifting Champ Hidilyn Diaz Wins First-Ever Olympic Gold for PH)

Still made history

Nesthy Petecio and how she almost quit
“Sobrang blessed po ako sa mga taong naniwala sa kakayanan ko. Pinaramdam nila sa ‘kin na hindi pa tapos yung career ko sa boxing.” (Photo from Luis Robayo/Pool/AFP)

Petecio is the first Filipina boxer to bring home an Olympic medal. She ended the Philippines’ boxing medal drought since Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. This is also the country’s first silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics. (Read: Meet the 10 Filipinas Representing PH At The Tokyo Olympics)

“It means a lot to me because it’s my father’s dream, and it’s also my dream. It’s not just for me. It’s for my country and the Filipinos that prayed for me,” she said in her post-final match speech.

Though she didn’t reach the top of the podium, it was still an impressive Olympic stint for Petecio. She defeated five opponents en route to the final, including Marcelat Mashu Sakobi of Congo via unanimous decision in the round of 32, Taiwan’s world no. 1 Lin Yu-Ting via split decision in the round of 16, Yeni Arias of Colombia via unanimous decision in the quarterfinals, and Irma Testa of Italy via majority decision in the semifinals. 

Looking forward to another medal

(Left) Eumir Marcial of the Philippines reacts after winning his fight against Arman Darchinyan of Armenia at the Tokyo Olympics, Aug. 1. (Right) After a golden SEA Games run, Carlo Paalam trains to bring home the gold in the Tokyo Olympics. (Photos from Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters and Alecs Ongcal/Rappler)

Meanwhile, boxers Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam also secured Olympic medals for the Philippines, bringing the Philippines’s tally to four. 

Eumir Marcial secured a spot in the semifinal round and assured himself a bronze medal after defeating Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan via a knockout in their quarterfinal match in the men’s middleweight division on August 1. 

He didn’t expect to finish Darchinyan in the first round, but it came quicker than imagined as Marcial threw Darchinyan a crushing right hook on the chin with under a minute left in the opening round. He will next fight Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine on August 5. (Read: Pope Francis Quotes On The Importance And Impact Of Sports)

The following day, Carlo Paalam gave the Philippines another boxing medal when he defeated 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist and 2019 world champion Shakhobidin Zhoirov of Uzbekistan via split decision in the men’s flyweight quarterfinals. 

Paalam’s shocking win guaranteed himself at least a bronze medal. He will face Japanese bet Ryomei Tanaka in the semifinal on August 5.

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