Petecio down to one shot in Olympic bid
World champion Nesthy Petecio apologized on Tuesday for failing to meet the expectations of an entire nation hoping to see her qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I’m sorry for the defeat, I was one push away,’’ Petecio said in Filipino after absorbing a quarterfinals setback to Japanese Sena Irie in the Asia and Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament (OQT) 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 province.
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 championship in Paris, France, on May 13-24.
She missed the semifinals of 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 51kilograms) likewise absorbed stinging setbacks that put their Olympic bid in peril.
Though Paalam lost to India’s Amit Panghal, 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 to 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. INQ
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