Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio wins Olympic silver

Women’s Feather (52-57kg) silver medalist Nesthy Petecio of Team Philippines poses with her silver medal | Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

NESTHY Petecio is now the first Filipina to bring home a medal in boxing after she claimed silver in the Tokyo Olympics.

The 29-year-old Davao native garnered the Philippines’ first silver medal in the Tokyo Games after she bowed to Sena Irie of Japan via unanimous decision in the women’s featherweight final on Tuesday, August 3, at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

“It means a lot to me because I dedicate this fight for my family, country and my best friend who died. I dedicate this medal to my coaches, [especially] Nolito Velasco. He sacrificed a lot for this competition,” Petecio said after the match, adding “This is an important tournament, not for me but for my country and coaches.”

 

She also dedicated her win to the LGBTQ community, saying “I am proud to be part of the LGBTQ community. Sulong, laban (Let’s go, fight)! Para rin po sa LGBTQ community ang laban na ‘to (This fight is also for the LGBTQ community),” she said.

Petecio struggled to find a rhythm in the first round as Irie used effective clinching to slow the Pinay boxer down. Japan’s home bet earned the favor of all five judges, 10-9.

In the second round, Petecio rallied back against her opponent, managing to get the nod of four judges.

And while the Filipina put up a good fight in the third round, Irie relied on excessive clinching and landed enough punches to win the favor of all judges, 5-0, and claim the gold medal.

This isn’t the first time Petecio lost to Irie. The Japanese boxer kept her from qualifying outright to the Summer Games when they met in the Asia-Oceania qualifiers in March 2020.

With her win, Petecio became the first boxer from the Philippines to win the silver medal since Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

 

 

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A post shared by Nesthy Petecio (@neshpetecio)

Petecio’s Olympic journey isn’t stopping in Tokyo.

“We’re still chasing the gold. We’re not done. There’s still Paris (in 2024),” she told ESPN5.

Malacañang lauded Petecio for her feat, saying her story is “the story of the Filipino nation.”

“Congratulations Nesthy Petecio for the silver in boxing. Ito po ang kauna unahang pagkakataon na nagkaroon tayo ng mga kababaihang boksingero and it was a silver immediately. We are proud of you, Nesthy (Congratulations Nesthy Petecio for the silver in boxing. This is the first time for us to have a female boxer on the podium and it was a silver immediately. We are proud of you, Nesthy),” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

“As usual, ang kuwento po ni Nesthy ay kuwento ng buong sambayanang Pilipino. Tayo po naghirap, nangarap, nagwagi (Nesthy’s story is the story of the Filipino nation. We suffered, dreamed, and won),” he added.

Petecio is set to receive at least P17 million for her silver finish — P5 million each from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) under Republic Act No. 10699, San Miguel Corporation, and MVP Sports Foundation, and P2 million from House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero.

She will also receive a P10-million worth condo unit from Suntrust Properties, Inc. in her hometown Davao City, and a P2.5 million house and lot by Ovialand in Candelaria, Quezon.

In addition to Petecio, Filipino boxers Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial are both guaranteed medals after they both qualified for the semifinals in their respective weight divisions.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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