‘Inner Nesthy’ fuels Petecio’s Olympic gold drive
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA—For a brief period, Nesthy Petecio thought it was time to hang up her gloves.
She had already won an Olympic silver medal, and with it came an avalanche of riches that she and her family could comfortably live off.
Where would she find the drive?
“There was a time when I thought if I still wanted to continue and doubted if I could still do it,’’ said Petecio, her mind torn between retirement and the luster of a gold medal in the coming 2024 Paris Olympics. “I had reached my dreams, although it wasn’t a gold (in the Olympics).”
She found motivation where it always was.
“[T]he inner Nesthy is strong, so I’ve decided not to stop until I win the gold,’’ Petecio said.
And what a way to boost her confidence after the 31-year-old slugger from Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur captured her second Southeast Asian Games title triumph on Sunday night.
Petecio schooled Indonesia’s Ratna Sari Devi on the way to reclaiming her women’s featherweight title at the Chroy Changvar Convention Hall here.
The first Filipino who secured an Olympic medal in women’s boxing threw volume punches with pinpoint accuracy all throughout the lopsided contest, leaving no doubt for the judges which side to take.
The Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, that starts in September is a continental qualifier for the Paris Olympics and will serve as a gateway for Petecio to book a return trip to the biggest sports spectacle on the planet.
“That gold has become my primary motivation, but I’m always looking for ways to find my strength again for the Olympics,’’ said Petecio, who won the silver medal with Carlo Paalam in the Tokyo Olympics.
“I find strength when I think of my idol champ Hidilyn [Diaz-Naranjo]. She’s my inspiration along with (gymnast) Caloy [Yulo] and (pole vaulter) EJ [Obiena],’’ said Petecio.
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