Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Nesthy Petecio acknowledges the need to enhance her speed and power for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics boxing qualifier in Italy, despite securing a gold medal in the Boxam Elite Tournament in La Nucia, Alicante, Spain.
The 31-year-old Petecio, who scored a 4-1 split victory over Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist and two-time world champion Huang Hsiao-Wen of Chinese Taipei in their women's 57kg (featherweight) championship bout, recognized the areas in which she still has room for improvement.
"I-maintain nalang nako akong timbang kay nakuha naman nako pero kinahanglan pa gyud mag-improve akong speed, power, ug footwork. Tanan na (I'll just maintain my weight but I still need to enhance my speed, power, and footwork. I still have to improve in everything)," she told SunStar Davao in a recent interview.
The Philippine national boxing team has been in Spain for a training camp since the first week of January this year.
Petecio, a 2019 Aiba women's world boxing champion, said officials of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) decided that the boxers conduct their training camp in Spain, allowing them for a three-hour flight to Italy where the 1st World Olympic Boxing Qualification Tournament 2024- Busto Arsizio 2024 will take place from March 3 to 11.
The national boxers, however, endured a three-flight trip from Manila to Spain.
Despite adjusting to the cold weather she highlighted the challenge of adapting to the seven-hour time difference between Spain and the Philippines.
"Grabe gyud ang adjustment sa time (The time difference is a significant adjustment for us)," she said, making them feel sleepy during training hours.
Petecio quickly added though that such sacrifices are necessary to secure an Olympic slot.
The Italy qualifier will be held in The Maria Piantanida Sports Palace, also known as the e-work Arena in Busto Arsizio.
According to a report on its event website dated February 7, 668 boxers from 114 countries will compete for Paris Olympic berths, with 21 slots for women and 28 for men across 13 weight categories.
The Davao del Sur native Petecio, who started her amateur boxing career in Davao City, noted that approximately 15 different national boxing teams, including the Philippines, are currently training in Spain.
The Filipino boxers’ training camp in Spain is made possible by Abap, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). MLSA