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Nesthy Petecio takes home the silver medal in a historic Olympic campaign

By Bim Santos Published Aug 03, 2021 1:33 pm Updated Aug 08, 2021 8:04 pm

Nesthy Petecio has won the silver medal after falling to Japanese foe Sena Irie in their boxing featherweight finals match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Kokugikan Arena.

Petecio's silver medal burnishes the country's unprecedented Olympic campaign in Tokyo, adding to Hidilyn Diaz's gold medal.

The 29-year-old Filipina fell to the crafty and much-younger 20-year-old Japanese via unanimous decision. 

This is also Petecio and Sena's fourth encounter. Prior to their Olympic match, the Davao del Sur native has won one of their previous encounters but lost two, including the Olympic qualifiers in Jordan held in March, 2020.

In an emotional post-fight interview with Cignal TV's One Sports, an emotional Petecio said she was grateful for the support and that her work is not yet done.

"Sobrang blessed ako, thankful ako kay Lord kasi di niya ako pinayagan sa taas ng ring, dalawa kami ng kalaban ko. Sobrang honored po ako na i-represent ang Pilpinas at naiyak ako kasi, nanghihinayang ako," said Petecio.

"Continue pa rin tayo, chasing the gold pa rin tayo hindi pa rin tapos, may Paris pa po," Petecio said, referring to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Petecio was assured of a silver medal after she beat via split decision Italy’s Irma Testa in the semifinals last July 31.

Petecio’s win chalked up two firsts for the Philippines — the first silver medal in boxing after a quarter century following the silver that Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won in 1996 and Anthony Villanueva in 1964. It is also the first time that the country is assured of taking home more than two Olympic medals.

Earlier today, Carlo Paalam won over Olympic champion Shakhobodin Zoirov in the men’s flyweight division via split decision. Paalam won against the 2016 Rio gold medallist when the referee stopped the match in the second round at the 1:40 after both fighters sustained cuts following an accidental headbutt.

Besides Petecio, Diaz, and Paalam, Eumir Marcial has also been assured of at least a bronze medal in the boxing men’s middleweight division. In total, the Philippines is now assured of taking home at least four Olympic medals in a historic medal haul.

(Banner photo:Japan's Sena Irie (blue) celebrates after winning against Philippines' Nesthy Petecio after their women's feather (54-57kg) boxing final bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP)