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‘Huge respect’: Japan envoy moved by Nesthy Petecio’s ‘amazing’ sportsmanship

/ 09:13 PM August 03, 2021
Japan's Sena Irie (blue) celebrates after winning against Philippines' Nesthy Petecio after their women's feather (54-57kg) boxing final bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 3, 2021.

Japan’s Sena Irie (blue) celebrates after winning against Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio after their women’s feather (54-57kg) boxing final bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino boxer Nesthy Petecio was not only hailed for her Olympic performance that won her the silver medal, but also for her “amazing” sportsmanship.

Japanese ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko had nothing but respect for Petecio as she remained polite and gracious even to her opponent, Japan’s Sena Irie, who won over the Filipino boxer in the final.

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“Amazing sportsmanship [on] display. Many Japanese, including me, are moved to see Nesthy Petecio hugging and congratulating IRIE Sena,” the Japanese envoy said in a tweet.

“Great athletes are always fair, polite and gracious even to an opponent. Huge respect for Ms. Petecio!” he added.

Petecio took home the silver medal in the women’s featherweight at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, making her the first Filipino female boxer to bag a medal for the Philippines in the Summer Games.

Following her silver medal win, Petecio earned praises from Filipinos, including senators, who hailed the 29-year-old boxer for bringing pride and honor to the country.

“Bilang isang kapwa mo Dabawenyo at chair ng Senate Sports Committee, malaki ang paghanga ko sa ipinakita mong gilas at tapang sa loob ng boxing ring,” Senator Bong Go said in a statement.

(As a fellow Davaoeño and the chair of the Senate sports committee, I have great admiration for you for showing such energy and courage inside the boxing ring.)

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“With your unrelenting spirit, determination and competitiveness, you are one of the beacons that keep inspiring our people, especially our youth, amid trying times,” he added.

Senator Panfilo Lacson likewise commended Petecio for representing the Philippines with her “fighting spirit on full display.”

“Despite the problems we face at home, we Filipinos still have good reason to rejoice: One of our very own has given honor anew to the Philippines in the Olympics,” Lacson said.

“With her achievement, Nesthy has inspired us to punch above our weight class – not in the boxing ring but in the ring of daily life,” he added.

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TAGS:   Koshikawa Kazuhiko, Japan, Nesthy Petecio, PH Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Olympics
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