Nesthy’s plunge not dimming her Olympic hopes
HANGZHOU, China—Walking out of the Hangzhou Gymnasium corridor following a failed Olympic qualifying bid, Nesthy Petecio’s resolve only got reinforced despite facing a tougher road ahead.
“I’m not yet done. The fight continues and I’ll come out of this even more motivated,’’ said Petecio in Filipino after she got shown the door in women’s boxing at the 19th Asian Games.
Perennial rival Lin Yu-ting, the long-armed Taiwanese that Petecio disposed of en route to a silver finish in the Tokyo Olympics, utilized her height and reach advantage to the hilt for a payback victory that sent the Filipino crashing out of the round of 16 in the women’s 57kg category.
It was a double blow for Petecio, who also lost a shot at clinching an outright berth in next year’s Paris Olympics. Two more qualification tournaments are on the horizon for the 31-year-old Petecio as she seeks a return trip to the Olympics after falling short of the gold medal in Tokyo in 2021.
“There will be changes in my training as we work on several things that need to be addressed,’’ said Petecio.
She will first brace for the 2024 World Qualification Tournament 1 from Feb. 29 to Mar. 12 next year in Busto Arsizio, Italy, where finalists will earn tickets to Paris. If she fails there, Petecio’s last shot will be the World Qualification Tournament 2 in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 23 to June 5.
Four more Olympic berths are at stake in the Thai capital before the qualification window shuts down.
Lending support to Petecio’s bid is Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines chairman Ricky Vargas, who sent a message of reassurance to the Filipino pug, who hails from Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.
“I believe in you. You can get it, if you want it and you have already proven that,’’ Vargas’ message read.
“You can rebound when you put your mind to it. This is just a bump and I’m confident in what you still can,’’ added Vargas.