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Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Petecio, Obiena gun for gold medals

Nesthy Petecio. (AP) EJ Obiena. (UST)

BOXER Nesthy Petecio and pole vaulter EJ Obiena gun for gold medals in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

Petecio takes on young Japanese Sena Irie in the Women’s Featherweight division finals in Kokugikan Arena.

The 29-year-old Petecio had an impressive run in her Olympic debut. She totally outclassed Democratic Republic of Congo’s Marcelat Sakobu Matshu, 5-0, on points in the Round of 32. She then defeated No. 1 ranked Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese-Taipei, 3-2, on points in the Round of 16. After that, Petecio barreled through Colombian Yeni Arias, 5-0, by decision in the quarterfinals before beating two-time Olympian Irma Testa, 4-1, on points in the semifinals.

The 20-year-old Irie, on the other hand, dominated the first two rounds with 5-0 decision wins over El Salvador’s Yamileth Solorzano and Tunisia’s Khouloud Hlimi Ep Moulahi. She then squeaked past Romania’s Maria Claudia Nechita, 3-2, by points in the quarterfinals and outlasted 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships bronze medalist Kariss Atringstall of Great Britain also, 3-2, by decision.

Petecio and Irie have already fought back in 2019. Petecio beat Irie, 4-1, in the World Championships in Russia. Petecio would then win the gold medal in the World Championships with a win over Russian Liudmila Vorontsova.

On the other hand, Obiena is competing against 13 other pole vaulters in the Men’s Pole Vault finals at the Olympic Stadium.

Obiena earned a trip to the final round after finishing fifth in Group A and 10th overall in the qualifying round. He cleared the 5.57M bar in three attempts.

Meanwhile, Carlo Paalam is in for a tough assignment as he takes on 2016 Rio Olympics and 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships gold medalist Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the Men’s Flyweight division quarterfinals.

The 23-year-old Paalam is coming off a 5-0 decision win over Algerian Mohamed Flissi in the Round of 16, while Zoirov outclassed Cape Verde’s Daniel David Varela de Pina in the same round.

Zoirov is already fighting in the pro ranks with a record of 3-0 with two knockouts. (EKA)


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