Ghost of Onyok’s ‘gold’ surfaces in Bulgarian Tokyo triumph
TOKYO—The ghost of the gold medal that got away came back in an atmosphere of triumph late Saturday afternoon, during a press conference after the awarding ceremonies of the women’s boxing flyweight division.
Stoyka Krasteva of Bulgaria capped her dominant showing in the Tokyo Olympics with a gold medal after beating top-seeded Buse Naz Cakiroglu of Turkey via unanimous decision at Kokugikan Arena here.
And during the interview, she was asked about winning Bulgaria’s first boxing gold medal since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
“That story was from long ago and I know it inspired a lot of boxers in Bulgaria,” Krasteva said through an interpreter. “I hope my victory here also inspires more boxers in the future.”
That last boxing gold was won by Daniel Bozhilov Petrov, whose name conjures less-than-inspiring memories in Manila.
Petrov was the man on the opposite corner of the ring when the country felt it was robbed of its first gold courtesy of Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco during the light flyweight final in Atlanta.
At a time when boxing was using a different scoring method, Petrov hammered out a 19-6 victory in the gold medal match, leaving Velasco and an entire nation stunned.
Velasco turned to show business and never fought in the Olympics again after that.
The diminutive fighter from Bago, Negros Occidental, had said he never got the full amount of his incentives after bringing home the silver medal.
Bulgaria hadn’t won a boxing gold medal since then.