‘Blue’ Magno seeks gold, old training routine
Irish Magno has time to soak in the little things.
From her morning run, she runs straight to a nearby river for a refreshing dip. She helps her family harvest rice from a relative’s farm. She spends quality time with her family in her family home in Janiuay, Iloilo province, where she has stayed since August—it’s the longest time Magno has spent with her kin since becoming part of the women’s national boxing team. She also gets to bond with longtime girlfriend Erny Ann Micua a lot.
She can be herself, by herself.
“Sometimes, people recognize me in the streets,” Magno said in Filipino. “One time I didn’t know if I should feel embarrassed because people recognized me in the market while I was holding fish that I bought.”
But there’s a tradeoff. The country’s first woman to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics has been training virtually, via online platforms.
She wants more: “It’s still different in training camp. I miss the voice of my coaches, the company of my teammates, the intense training. ”
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines and the Philippine Sports Commission, however, are still waiting for approval from the interagency task force to set up a bubble camp in Laguna province.
While waiting, Magno has time to notice a lot of the little things. Like how the biggest victories in her career came from the blue corner.
She was in blue when she ruled the 2012 Taipei Open—her only gold medal abroad—and in the semifinals of the 2015 Southeast Asian Games when she beat a heavily favored Thai foe.
“When I lost to India (Mary Kom) in the quarterfinals in Amman [Olympic Qualifying last March], I was in red,” she recalled. “But when I won the boxoff to qualify for Tokyo, I was in blue.”She has her sights set on a different color now: Gold.
“God put me in this position, so I might as well go for it,” Magno said. “My goal is to win the country’s first gold medal in the Olympics.”
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