Like the late Philippine boxer Anthony Villanueva, Nesthy Petecio will bring back home an Olympic silver medal (thank the Lord for another medal for the nation) now that the finals of the women’s featherweight (54-57kg) division is over. Yesterday, Petecio did her best in the quest for another Olympic gold medal as she fought with Japan’s Sena Irie resulting a loss by means of a unanimous decision.
Regardless, Petecio has been congratulated by many in the Philippines and her silver medal finish is still highly significant as it boosted the nation in the Olympic medal rankings (now 1 gold and 1 silver). Her also achievement brings back memories of Anthony Villanueva who, like her, settled for the silver medal in the same sport (specifically men’s featherweight division) in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Villanueva lost to the Soviet Union’s Stanislav Stepashkin in the final match.
To put things in perspective about the Petecio-Irie fight, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA Network sports news report. Some parts in boldface…
A gallant Nesthy Petecio fell short as she settled for a silver medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after bowing to hometown bet Sena Irie of Japan in the final round of the women’s featherweight division Tuesday at the Kokugikan Arena.
The 29-year-old pug struggled to connect in the first round as Irie, who is nine years younger than the FIlipina fighter, utilized an effective clinch game to slow Petecio’s offense. The Japanese boxer got the nod of all five judges, 10-9.
But Petecio battled back in the second round as she broke free to landed some strong punches to secure a 4-1 scorecard and brought the bout to a decision in the last round.
In the crucial third round, Irie was able continued to be effective in grabbing and holding Petecio, though the Filipina was able to launch some power shots.
All five judges saw the round in favor of the Japanese fighter, though, as she won 5-0 to clinch the gold medal.
Irie is a very familiar face to Petecio.
She denied the Filipino boxer an outright Olympic berth when they met in the Asia and Oceania Olympic Boxing Qualifiers last March 2020.
Petecio needed to wait for a few more months before formalizing her Tokyo entry after a decision to give her the slot was made by the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force (IOC-BTF) early this year.
The feat also allowed Petecio to match what the last Filipino Olympic boxing medalist, Onyok Velasco, accomplished in the 1996 Atlanta Games, where he won a silver medal.
Despite the loss, it was still an inspiring campaign for the gritty Petecio.
She has opened up about her battle with mental health issues before bouncing back strong in her recent outings.
In a heartfelt interview on Stand For Truth, Petecio revealed she had to overcome depression after a discouraging loss in the 2018 Asian Games, which had her questioning her place in the sport.
But displaying true fighting spirit, the Davao-born boxer returned and captured gold in both the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
As you can see in the above report, Petecio went through lots of challenges behind the scenes and fortunately for the Philippines, she made it to the Olympics in Japan and defeated all the opponents which led her (and the nation) in the finals of her weight division.
Considering all what she went through, the Olympic silver medal finish is still highly significant for the Philippines and it proves that the nation is indeed improving globally in sports while also making its place in 21st century Olympic history look even better. Adding more good news here is the fact that the Philippine hunt for gold in the Olympics is not yet over.
Unsurprisingly, Petecio will be rewarded deservingly. According to a Manila Bulletin news report, the silver medalist is entitled to a P5 million incentive from the national government in accordance to Republic Act Number 10699 (RA10699) and more from the private sector. Even before her final match took place, the private company Ovialand announced it is committed to granting Petecio one house-and-lot unit located in Caliya, Candelaria. The property is worth P2.5 million.
For those of you based in the Philippines reading this, do your part congratulating and thanking Petecio for winning Olympic honors for the Philippines. Also be sure to thank our Heavenly Father for this blessing for the country.
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are based in the Philippines, what is your reaction to Petecio taking home the Olympic silver medal? If you saw the fight on TV, do you think the judges were correct in scoring the boxing match?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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