Saturday, September 25, 2021

Paalam guns for gold, Marcial settles for bronze

WINNING MOMENT. Carlo Paalam, of the Philippines, right, defeats Ryomei Tanaka, of Japan, in their flyweight 48-52kg semi final boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. / AP

CARLO Paalam is off to the finals, while Eumir Marcial settled for a bronze medal in boxing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.

The 23-year-old Paalam beat Japanese Ryomei Tanaka via a convincing 5-0 decision in the Men’s Flyweight division semifinals, assuring himself of a silver medal.

Paalam was quicker on his feet and was more consistent in landing his punches.

Paalam got the nod of all five judges. Ukranian judge Pavlo Vasylynchuk, Sri Lankan judge Nelka Shiromala Thampu and Australian judge Maksim Sulejmani scored the fight identically at 30-27, while Ugandan judge Antonio Stephen Aciga Fula had it closer at 29-28.

Paalam continues his impressive run in the Olympics and faces Great Britain’s Galal Yafai in the finals on Saturday, Aug. 7.

Yafai, the younger brother of former world champion Kal Yafai, beat Kazakh Saken Bibbossinov via a 3-2 split decision.

Bronze for Marcial

On the other hand, Marcial lost to Ukranian Oleksandr Khyzhniak via a close 3-2 decision in the Men’s Middleweight division semifinals.

Khyzhniak started out aggressively, while Marcial fought intelligently and picked his punches well. Marcial clinched to disrupt Khazhniak’s barrage. Marcial suffered a gash on the left side of his head after an accidental clash of heads near the end of the first round.

Marcial was more aggressive in the second round and landed some solid punches. But Khazhniak continued to move forward and throw punches at will in the second round.

Sensing that the fight could go either way, Khazhniak continued his frenetic pace. It paid off, as he won the third round on all judges’ scorecards, which was the deciding round.

Khazhniak got the nod of judge Sulejmani, Cuban judge Wilfredo Vazquez Calero and Kazakh judge Bakytzhan Bekepenbetov with scores of 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28, respectively. Irish judge Diarmuid Macdiarmada and Colombian judge Wulfren Olivares Perez scored it 29-28 for Marcial.

Marcial is the fourth medalist from the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after Hidilyn Diaz bagged the gold in weightlifting and Nesthy Petecio won a silver in boxing.


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