By Adrian Stewart Co
Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio is now assured of a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after punching her way to the semifinals of women’s featherweight division yesterday at the Kokukigan Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
The Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur-native Petecio made it to the final four following a masterful unanimous decision victory over Colombian fighter Yeni Castaneda in the quarterfinals round.
Petecio has a strong showing in the opening round as she rocked Castaneda with solid straights, uppercuts and combinations for her to gain a 10-9 score among five judges.
Castaneda, meanwhile, made her presence felt in the second round with volume hits but Petecio landed the cleaner looks as three judges gave the Filipina a 10-9 score, while two others favored the Colombian.
Knowing that she was behind in the scorecards, Castaneda went for the haywire in the third round but could not puncture the defense of Petecio while the Filipina landed limited but cleaner shots to gain the nod of all judges.
Petecio, a world champion in the featherweight division, tangles with Italian boxer Irma Testa on Saturday, July 31, 12:39 p.m., to assure herself of at least a silver medal in the Summer Games.
With Petecio’s assurance of at least a bronze medal, she became the first boxer from the Philippines to win an Olympic medal since Negrense Mansuerto Velasco took home a silver 25 years ago.
It was also the first time in 87 years that the Philippines has at least two medals in an Olympics following the gold medal feat of Filipina weightliftet Hidilyn Diaz on Monday night.
Meanwhile, Filipina swimmer Remedy Rule has ended her campaign in the Tokyo Olympics yesterday morning after faltering in the semifinals round of the women’s 200-meter butterfly event.
Rule missed out the top eight finals after settling for 15th place finish overall in the semifinals with two minutes and 12.89 seconds. She also bowed out in the women’s 100-meter butterfly last Saturday.
Filipino swimmer Luke Gebbie also failed to advance to the men’s 100-meter freestyle semifinals on Tuesday night as he finished 36th overall out of 71 swimmers with his 49.64 seconds time.
Filipina weightlifter Elreen Ann Ando failed to duplicate the gold medal feat of Diaz after settling for seventh place finish in women’s 64 kilogram category with her total of 222 kilogram lift./ASC, WDJ