By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Eumir Felix Marcial was dealt with a controversial unanimous decision defeat by China’s Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke in the 19th Asian Games men’s 80-kilogram gold medal match at the Hangzhou Gymnasium in China on Thursday, October 5.
Marcial had a dominant opening round as he forced Tuohetaerbieke to a standing eight count.
However, the Filipino fighter became careless in the second round as he allowed the hometown bet to pummel him with punches for a 29-all score.
Marcial regained his aggression in the third round as he unloaded numerous power punches compared to the limited attacks of Tuohetaerbieke, but the judges strangely awarded the victory and the gold medal to the Chinese boxer.
The Zamboanga City-native fighter believed that he should have won the pivotal third round with his aggressive moves, but he respects the scoring of the five judges in favor of Tuohetaerbieke.
“Nakakahinayang dahil nakuha ko ‘yung first round. Akala ko ‘yung last round sa akin, ‘yun ang ramdam ko. Pero kailangan kong i-respeto ‘yung desisyon ng mga judges,” Marcial said.
The 27-year-old Marcial might have settled for a silver medal finish, but he is already assured of a slot in the 2024 Paris Olympics along with pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan.
Earlier in the day, Filipina Margarita “Meggie” Ochoa delivered the country’s second gold medal after ruling the women’s -48kg category of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the XSL Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China.
The 33-year-old Ochoa, who settled for a bronze medal in the previous Asiad in Indonesia five years ago, prevailed over Balqees Abdullah of the United Arab Emirates in the gold medal match.
Meanwhile, Sakura Alforte contributed a bronze medal for the Philippine karate delegation after defeating Chinese Taipei’s Hui Hsuan Chien in the women’s individual kata category.
Filipina weightlifter Vanessa Sarno fell short of a podium finish in the women’s 76kg category as her 235kg total lift was just good enough for a fifth place finish./ASC, WDJ