Hidilyn gives PH athletes still in the hunt in Tokyo the push they need
Hidilyn Diaz held up her gold medal close to the camera to five viewers behind her screen for them to have a chance to stare at her latest hardware.
Then, she addressed the country’s Olympians still in the hunt for medals in the Tokyo Games: “Here it is, we now have a gold medal,” she said in Filipino during a Zoom conference.
“You can do this,” she said, urging her teammates to forge on. “Fight for the country. Don’t doubt [yourselves]. Believe that you have the strength, you have the power.”
“Be proud to be Pinoy.”
Hopefully, the message reaches Nesthy Petecio.
The 29-year-old national team veteran squares off against Colombia’s Yeni Marcela Arias Castaneda in the quarterfinals of the women’s boxing featherweight division on Wednesday at Kokurigan Arena here.
A victory by Petecio guarantees her of at least a bronze medal. More importantly, she is coming off a huge victory over Taiwanese Lin Yu-Ting, the world No. 1 who was favored to win gold.
That victory may have cleared Petecio’s path to the gold, but the Davao-born fighter doesn’t want to look at it that way.
“Let’s take this step by step,” Petecio said, adding she needs to take care of business against Castaneda in a tournament where she is slowly finding her groove.
Kiyomi goes down
Early on Tuesday, Filipino judoka Kiyomi Watanabe’s medal dreams in Tokyo ended after losing to Spain’s Cristina Cabana Perez via ippon (10-0) just 38 seconds into her match in the -63 kilogram round-of-32 at Nippon Budokan.
Cabana Perez, ranked no. 37 in the world, managed to transition Watanabe’s takedown attempt into an arm lock that the judges deemed as an ippon after it was initially ruled as a waza-ari.Because she lost in the round of 32, Watanabe will no longer be eligible for the repechage.
Elreen Ando, a surprise callup to the Olympic delegation, made a good account of herself despite failing to land a podium finish in the women’s 64kg weightlifting competition at Tokyo International Forum.
Ando totaled 222kg, finishing seventh out of 10 competitors in the divison ruled by Canada’s Maude Charron, who lifted 236kg.
Ando, who was plotting a course toward the Paris Olympics before she got a wild card berth to the Tokyo Games, got a more personal look at Diaz’s achievement: Diaz let the Cebu-born Ando get a feel of the Olympic medal—hoping some of her luck will rub off on her teammate.