Petecio, Villegas punch way to Paris Olympics

Posted by watchmen
March 13, 2024
Posted in SPORTS


NESTHY PETECIO (AP / File photo)
NESTHY PETECIO (AP / File photo)


Filipina boxers Nesthy Petecio and Aira Villegas punched their way to the 2024 Paris Olympics after securing separate semifinal wins in the 1st World Olympic Boxing Qualification Tournament 2024 in Italy yesterday (Philippine time).

Petecio, a silver medalist in the 2020+1 Tokyo Olympics, earned her second straight Summer Games stint after beating Esra Kahraman Yildiz of Turkey via split decision in the women’s 57-kilogram category.

The Davao del Sur’s Santa Cruz-native Petecio was the aggressor early as she counter punched her way to shut out the lead over Yildiz in the first two rounds.

However, the Turkish fighter tried to rally her way in the final round, but was not able to knock the Pinay out, allowing the latter to advance to the championship round.

“I am so blessed. This is very important for me because this might be my last Olympics,” Petecio said.

“But I will not stop until I get that Olympic gold,” she added.

Petecio will next face Julia Szeremeta of Poland, who outlasted USA’s Alyssa Mendoza in a 3-2 split decision to reach the gold medal round.

Meanwhile, Villegas scored a dominant win over Zlatislava Genedieva Chukanova of Bulgaria in the quarterfinal round of the women’s 50-kg division category.

Villegas’ speed early on was the key difference between the two, helping her to overcome a point deduction in the second round and a knockdown in the third.

The victories of Petecio and Villegas made up for the early exit of Negrense Rogen Ladon and Carlo Paalam, who both failed to progress to the quarterfinals.

Petecio and Villegas will join fellow boxer Eumir Felix Marcial, pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan in the Paris Olympics./ASC, WDJ

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