Nesthy Petecio rues failed first shot at Tokyo Olympics
MANILA, Philippines—World champion Nesthy Petecio apologized Tuesday for failing to meet the expectations of an entire nation hoping to see her qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I’m sorry for the defeat, I was one push away,” said Petecio in Filipino after absorbing a quarterfinals setback to Japanese Sena Irie in the Asia and Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan.
“If people got hurt (due to the loss), just think about the regret that I’m feeling right now,” added the 27-year-old Southeast Asian Games women’s featherweight champion from Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.
Petecio, who ruled her division in the Aiba World Championships in Russia last year, has another crack to secure a spot in the Olympics through another qualifying meet—this year’s world champs in Paris, France on May 13-24.
She missed the semifinals in the ongoing OQT and an Olympic berth that goes with it following a 1-4 defeat at the hands of Irie.
Flyweight Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno (women’s 51kg) likewise absorbed stinging setbacks that put their Olympic bid in peril.
Though Paalam lost to India’s Amit Panghai, 1-4, in their quarterfinal bout, he can still seize an Olympic berth in a box-off on Wednesday.
Magno suffered the same fate as Paalam when she fell to six-time world champion MC Mary Kom of India, 5-0, on Tuesday. Magno will also go through a box-off in a bid to snatch a slot in Tokyo.
Six Olympic slots are available in the weight classes of Paalam and Magno with the four semifinalists automatically earning a spot. The last two spots will be contested by the four losing quarterfinalists in a box-off.
Eumir Felix Marcial provided the bright spot for Team Philippines after advancing to the semifinals of the middleweight division to punch a ticket to Tokyo in the company of pole vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo.