Shot at gold: Nesthy Petecio barges into Olympics boxing final
MANILA, Philippines–Nesthy Petecio is one win away from delivering the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal in boxing.
Facing a much taller opponent anew, Petecio cut down Irma Testa to size to march into the gold medal round of the women’s featherweight class at the Tokyo Olympics Saturday at Kokugikan Arena.
Four judges scored it 29-28 for the Davao native while the other had it 29-28 for Testa.
The 29-year-old Petecio shoots for the gold on Tuesday with a victory pushing the Philippines’ gold medal count to two after Hidilyn Diaz claimed weightlifting gold on Monday.
“It means a lot to me because it’s my father’s dream, and it’s also my dream. It’s not just for me. It’s for my country and the Filipinos that prayed for me,” said Petecio, who is now assured of a silver medal.
But Petecio, who earned a split decision win, had to dig deep after yielding the first round.
Sensing urgency, a ferocious Petecio fought with reckless abandon in the last two rounds where she managed to land shots after struggling to find the target early.
Testa, a two-time Olympian and European champion, used her six-inch height advantage to her favor until Petecio went on the attack and just let her hands go.
QUARTERFINALS FOR PAALAM
It was a double celebration for the country’s boxers after Carlo Paalam put on a masterclass to barge into the men’s flyweight quarterfinals earlier.
Paalam advanced to the next round following a unanimous decision over three-time Olympian Mohamed Flissi of Algeria.
He goes for a guaranteed place on the podium against Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan.
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