The gold eluded her, but silver medalist Nesthy Petecio won a final bout that’s for the books: the 29-year-old is the first Filipino female athlete to win an Olympic medal in boxing.
Japan’s Sena Irie defeated Petecio, with the latter hugging her opponent after in a show of sportsmanship and grace.
Nesthy will come home to a hero’s welcome and prizes befitting a champion. Her windfall includes cash incentives of P5 million as part of the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits Incentives Act; P5 million from the MVP Sports Foundation; P5 million from SMC chairman Ramon S. Ang; P5 million from the Philippine Sports Foundation; and P2 million from Rep. Mikee Romero.
She will also receive real estate prizes: P10-million residential condominium in Lanang, Davao City from taipan Andrew Tan’s Suntrust/Megaworld Corp. and a P2.5-million house and lot unit in Candelaria, Quezon from Ovialand Inc.
Two airlines are also rewarding Nesthy. Air Asia is giving our champ unlimited flights for five years while PAL is giving her 60,000 Mabuhay Miles every year for the rest of her life. Nestle is donating products to Santa Cruz, Davao del Sure and an NGO of her choice.
Women’s boxing became an Olympic sport for the first time in 2012 at the London Summer Olympics with only three weight categories. AT the Tokyo Olympics, there are five. Nesthy won her silver in the women’s feather (54-57kg) division.
A proud member of the LGBTQ community, Nesthy once said in an interview, “A lot of people think that boxing is only for boys. But as women (boxers), we already earned the respect.”
She told One Sports, “I am ready. I know I’m ready. God knows everything and I’ll work for it.”
Petecio said after winning the silver, “It means a lot to me because it’s my father’s dream, and it’s also my dream. It’s not just for me. It’s for my country and the Filipinos that prayed for me," she said after securing herself a silver medal.”