Paris Olympics

‘Best chance’ for PH boxers to capture elusive gold in Olympics

Delfin Dioquino

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‘Best chance’ for PH boxers to capture elusive gold in Olympics

The Philippines' boxing medalists (from left) Eumir Marcial, Carlo Paalam, and Nesthy Petecio in the Tokyo Olympics.

Eumir Marcial Instagram page

The chances of ending the golden drought in Olympic boxing look promising as five Filipino boxers – Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Hergie Bacyadan, and Aira Villegas – see action in the Paris Games

MANILA, Philippines – Boxing has delivered the most Olympic medals for the Philippines with eight, but a gold in the sport has remained elusive.

The chances of ending that golden drought, though, look promising as five Filipino boxers – led by Olympic medalists Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, and Carlo Paalam – qualified for the Paris Games.

Aira Villegas and Hergie Bacyadan complete the cast, which is the Philippines’ biggest boxing delegation in a single Olympics since it also sent five boxers to the 1996 Atlanta Games.

“We feel they have a very good chance to podium and go all the way,” Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines secretary general Marcus Manalo said in a Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday, June 11.

“Personally, I feel this is the best chance for us to win that elusive gold medal in the Olympics,” he added.

Earning a return trip to the Olympics, Marcial (men’s 80kg), Petecio (women’s 57kg), and Paalam (men’s 57kg) go into Paris with the goal of completing their unfinished business.

Petecio and Paalam both fell short of the gold and settled for silver in the Tokyo Games three years ago, while Marcial bagged bronze.

Bacyadan (women’s 75kg) and Villegas (women’s 50kg) also aim to contribute to the Philippines’ medal charge in their Olympic debuts.

“When we talk among ourselves, we focus on the process, we let the results take care of themselves. But we’re very optimistic that this is really a strong five that we’re bringing,” said Manalo.

The next two-and-a-half months before the Paris Games come off the wraps on July 26 will be crucial as the boxing team joins the rest of Team Philippines in its training camp in Metz, France, from June 22 to July 1.

After that, the Philippine boxing team will fly to Saarbrucken, Germany, for a multi-nation training camp where qualified boxers from the United States, Australia, India, Thailand, Cuba, and Mongolia will also participate in.

“We’ll be there [in Germany] for three weeks. We need training partners. We’ll go where the training partners are,” said Manalo. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.