Petecio in high spirits ahead of final Olympic qualifiers
Filipino boxing heroine Nesthy Petecio, who was one win away from securing a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics before disaster struck, remains highly-confident that she’ll be able to join the illustrious list of the country’s Olympians.
Presently staying with fellow athletes at the national training facility in Baguio City, Petecio, who turns 28 on April 11, said she keeps in shape while in quarantine by jogging daily and having a regular dose of shadow boxing for two to three rounds plus sit-ups and push-ups at Teachers Camp.
“I need to keep in shape,’’ said Petecio, who won the AIBA World Championship in the featherweight class after besting hometown bet Liudmila Vorontsova by split decisionlast October at Ulan-Ulde in Russia.
A native of Tuban, Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur, Petecio said she needs to bring back her old, deadly form, which gave her the world title to hurdle the next Olympic qualifier.
‘’I remain positive that I’ll make it to the Olympics. I lost my confidence in the Jordan qualifier, I lost my rhythm. But God has a reason for my loss and I vow to come back by not doubting that I can do it,’’ said Petecio, who burst in the international scene after winning the bantamweight silver in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia.
The final Olympic qualifier was originally scheduled in Paris on May but the global health emergency due to the dreaded Covid-19 wrought havoc on sporting calendars around the world. The International Olympic Committee also reset the Summer Games to 2021.
Petecio said Ed Picson, secretary general of the ruling Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, assured her that they will have a training camp abroad to prepare for the Olympic qualifier.
To the shock and surprise of her fans, Petecio suffered a stinging 4-1 setback to Japanese Irie Sena in the quarterfinals of the Asia Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers in Amman, Jordan last March. That setback meant she missed to make it outright to the Summer Games, which brought back bitter memories of another“failed bid in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Compatriots Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno booked slots to Tokyo in the Jordan event, while Carlo Paalam and Riza Pasuit also failed to earn Olympic tickets. Like Petecio, they will make one final attempt to qualify after the pandemic.
‘’It’s the dream of every athlete to see action in the Olympics and I’m not going to waste the oppurtunity to make it,’’ said Petecio.
Pole vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Caloy Yulo have already qualified for the Olympics and deeply training abroad.