Carlo Paalam qualifies for Paris Olympics after 'difficult' route

Carlo Paalam makes it to Paris Olympics after ‘difficult’ route

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 11:00 PM June 01, 2024

Carlo Paalam qualifies for Paris Olympics

Carlo Paalam reacts after booking a ticket to the Paris Olympics.–Photo screengrabbed from the Olympic Games’ Twitter

BANGKOK—Carlo Paalam might have gone through a circuitous route back to the Olympics, but felt extreme relief to arrive at his desired destination.

Paalam punched his way to the 2024 Paris Olympics late Saturday evening after pulling off a unanimous decision win over India’s Sachin Sachin in the semifinal of the men’s 57kg division at the World Boxing Olympic Qualification.

“I’ve gone through a lot and it feels so good now that I’m back in the Olympics,” Paalam told the Inquirer in Filipino after receiving his Olympic qualifying ticket from the organizers while carrying his 11-month-old daughter.


READ: Carlo Paalam one win away from Paris Olympics berth

The Tokyo Olympics silver medalist didn’t make it through the continental door in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China last year and also missed the ride going to Paris in the first World Olympic Qualification in Busto Arsizio, Italy two months ago.

He made sure none of those setbacks would transpire again.

“It was a difficult route for Carlo, but he proved himself worthy on his return trip to the Olympics,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who cheered from the stands along with Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines chairman Ricky Vargas.


Celebrating with them together with a small group of Filipino supporters were POC secretary general Atty. Wharton Chan and Abap secretary general Marcus Manalo.

With only three Olympic berths available in his division, Paalam came a long way after toppling four opponents prior to surviving Sachin in his most crucial match of all.


READ: Paris or bust as Carlo Paalam takes last Olympic shot

Paalam will accompany fellow boxers Eumir Marcial, Aira Villegas and Nesthy Petecio in the French capital in July.

Hergie Bacyadan could make it five Filipino boxers in the French capital in July with a victory on Sunday against Venezuela’s Maryelis Yriza in the quarterfinals of the women’s 75kg division at the Indoor Stadium Huamark.

“I hope Hergie could join them tomorrow (Sunday),” said Vargas, whose association could rewrite history by sending five boxers to the Olympics.

The local boxing federation sent four boxers in the previous 2020 Olympics in Tokyo with Petecio and Paalam bringing home silver medals and Marcial bagging a bronze.

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Paalam, who became the 14th Filipino to qualify to Paris, found the taller Sachin an easy target, delivering rapid-fire punches on several occasions that caught the Indian by surprise.

The 25-year-old pride of Talakag, Bukidon hardly yielded in the final round and continuously engaged his foe despite leading in all scorecards after two rounds.

Follow Inquirer Sports’ special coverage of the Paris Olympics 2024.

TAGS: Carlo Paalam, Paris Olympics

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