Carlo Paalam looks to sustain strong start in Bangkok
OLYMPIC QUALIFIERS

Carlo Paalam looks to sustain strong start in Bangkok

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:15 AM May 28, 2024

Paris or bust as Paalam takes last Olympic shot

Carlo Paalam.–CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Carlo Paalam’s Olympic route is marked with several stops at the ongoing World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.

After making short work of Alexei Lagkazasvili of Greece in his opening bout in the men’s 57-kilogram division, Paalam’s next layover is the round of 32 on Tuesday where Turkmenistan’s Shukur Ovezov awaits.

“I’ll just have to continue what I’ve started,’’ said Paalam in Filipino after his final shot for the 2024 Paris Olympics got going with a trouble-free 5-0 win over Lagkazasvili.

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The Tokyo Olympics silver medalist showed no trace of an injured shoulder in that fight and will climb the ring opposite Ovezov at Indoor Stadium Huamark fresh from a three-day rest.

“Very good start for Carlo. It’s great to see him back from the shoulder injury,’’ said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines secretary general Marcus Manalo.

Paalam is looking to even up matters with Ovezov, who showed him the door in the first world Olympic qualifier in Busto Arsizio, Italy, two months ago.

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“Coincidentally, his next opponent will be the Turkmen whom he lost to due to injury. But he’s in good shape for now and moving very well,’’ said Manalo.Back then, the 25-year-old from Talakag, Bukidnon, was already nursing a painful shoulder in an earlier bout before dropping his round of 16 match against Ovezov.

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Mexico’s Andrey Bonilla slammed Paalam to the canvas in their round of 32 clash before the Filipino pugilist survived with a split-decision win.Out of the four Filipino boxers sent to Bangkok, only Paalam and Hergie Bacyadan are still in contention following the early exit of Rogen Ladon (men’s 51 kg) and Criztian Pitt Laurente (men’s 63.5 kg).

Ladon dropped his initial bout against Spain’s Rafael Lozano and Laurente fell prey to a quicker Mukhammedsabyr Bazarbay Uulu of Kazakhstan in their round of 64 face-off.Bacyadan, another promising Olympic prospect, drew Spain’s Dunia Mas Martinez in her initial bout in the women’s 75-kg division.

If she survives Martinez, the vovinam world champion from Kalinga should get past two more opponents on June 1 and June 2 to join Eumir Marcial (men’s 80 kg), Nesthy Petecio (women’s 57 kg) and Aira Villegas (women’s 50 kg) in the French capital in July.

Paalam needs to beat three more opponents after Ovezov since only the medalists in his division will earn those Paris berths.

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Although rougher roads lay ahead, coaches Ronald Chavez and Elmer Pamisa, Paalam’s trainer as a youth in Cagayan de Oro City, are optimistic that their ward could weather the challenges. INQ

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