By Adrian Stewart Co
Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio settled for a silver medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women’s featherweight boxing after a controversial unanimous decision loss to Japanese Sena Irie yesterday at the Kokukigan Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
The Davao City-native Petecio was obviously the aggressor despite being clinched and tackled by the Japanese fighter in almost the entire game but the five judges still see the game for the hometown bet.
Petecio was held from her punches in the opening round after being clinched and elbowed by Irie for most of the round. The five judges gave a 10-9 in favor of the hometown boxer.
Petecio showed some life in the second round as she managed to unload a number of blows to Irie’s head and body despite the latter’s clinching. Four judges had it 10-9 for Petecio, while another one gave a 10-9 to Irie.
Irie managed to connect some blows in the third round but Petecio also made her presence felt by targeting the head of the Japanese fighter. In the end, the five judges unanimously gave a 10-9 score for Irie.
Petecio became the first Filipina to win a silver medal in the Olympic boxing since Negrense boxer Mansueto Velasco finished runner-up during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Earlier in the day, Carlo Paalam secured the country’s fourth Olympic medal in Tokyo Olympics after a split decision win over Shakhoibidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the men’s flyweight quarterfinals.
Paalam got the nod of four of five judges, 20-19, 20-19, 20-19, 20-19, 19-19, in a match that was halted midway in the second round with Zoirov unable to continue due to a cut on his eyebrow due to accidental headbutt.
Heavy underdog heading into the match, Paalam showed aggressiveness in the opening round with multiple hits to the head and the body which later dropped Zoirov but referee ruled it as a slip.
Paalam continued to pester Zoirov with volume punches in the second round before the match was stopped with the ring doctors ruling that the latter cannot continue.
Paalam’s Olympic medal assurance had the country its most medals in 97 years of participating in the Summer Games.
On Monday night, Filipino gymnast Carlos Edriel Yulo fell short of a podium finish in the vault apparatus event in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics men’s artistic gymnastics at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo.
Yulo settled for a fourth place in the apparatus with a total score of 14.716, behind gold medal winner Shin Jeahwan (14.783), silver medalist Denis Abliazin of Russia (14.783), and bronze medal winner Armenia’s Artur Davytan (14.733)./ASC, WDJ