‘Watch out for me,’ Petecio says as last gold chance looms
PARIS 2024

‘Watch out for me,’ Petecio says as last gold chance looms

‘Watch out for me,’ Petecio says as last gold chance looms

Nesthy Petecio (right) may not be announcing it to the world, but gold is the goal of every athlete in the Olympics. —AFP

In what could be Nesthy Petecio’s last time to represent the country in the Olympics, the Tokyo 2020 silver medalist will be looking to do things a little different than the way she handled her Summer Games debut.

“If you’re asking me how I will be [in the Paris Olympics], I will just be chill with everything that I will do,” Petecio said in Filipino during a send- off event for the country’s bets in Makati City last week.

Chill means never needing to brandish her target for everyone to see. But even as Petecio isn’t vocal about what medal she will be chasing in Paris next month, she also knows she isn’t kidding anyone.


“All of us athletes are aiming for the gold medal; no one is thinking of not getting that and we are all working hard in training,” Petecio said. “But I don’t want to be the kind of person who says what color of medal I want to get, what I want is for all of you to watch out for me in every fight.”

“Whatever pressure I will encounter, I already know about that because us athletes are always accompanied by pressure … we should just focus on what we can handle and what I can handle is how I will perform,” she added.

Petecio ended the country’s Olympic medal drought in boxing when she landed a silver medal three years ago in the Japanese capital.

After two flawless preliminary bouts, the Davao del Sur native advanced to the quarterfinals to beat Yeni Arias of Colombia and assure herself of a medal in the inaugural women’s featherweight event.


Asian Games target

In the semifinals, Petecio carved out a majority decision win against Italian Irma Testa but fell short to the also debuting hometown bet Sena Iria via a unanimous decision.

“Imagine, I was going to sleep before my fight the next day and when I lifted my blanket I saw the Japanese flag—that’s how intense the pressure I felt was because it was my first time to reach this high level,” Petecio said.


“It was really different so I prayed ‘Lord, remove this pressure that I am feeling,’ because it was really hard to fight when even while sleeping I was seeing the Japanese flag,” she added.

With Father Time catching up, the first female Filipino Olympic boxing medalist might be looking at her last shot for the elusive gold. Petecio is 32 years old and because of politics surrounding the sport, boxing could lose its spot in Los Angeles in 2028.

If that pushes through, Petecio would be shifting her focus to the Asian Games.

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“I am getting older, but I am still raring to get a medal in the Asian Games because I have come up always zero in that so I still need to push one last time,” Petecio said. INQ

TAGS: Boxing, Sports

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