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Even after pulling off a scintillating victory in her Olympic debut, Filipina boxer Irish Magno toned down expectations in her Tokyo Games campaign.
“Huwag muna tayo mag-aim high, step by step muna tayo (Let’s not aim too high, we’ll take it step by step),” said Magno after an emphatic 5-0 win in the women’s flyweight competition.
The victory secured Magno a slot in the round of 16, a day after fellow female boxer Nesthy Petecio pulled off the same feat in the featherweight division.
Magno finished the way she started en route to a shutout win on Sunday, July 25, over Kenyan Christine Ongare at the Kokugikan Arena.
Following coach Don Abnett’s game plan almost to the letter, Magno toyed with the Kenyan from start to finish, moving in for the crisp blows and then out of harm’s way from Ongare’s wild swings.
The five judges gave all the rounds to the Iloilo native, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, and a 30-26 score from Algerian judge Sidali Mokretari.
The 25-year-old Magno takes on Jutamas Jitpong next on Thursday, July 29, at 12:24 pm, Philippine time, after the Thai fashioned out an equally impressive 5-0 blanking of Algeria’s Roumaysa Boualam 15 minutes later.
The world No. 25 Magno used her two-inch height advantage to the hilt against Ongare, who is ranked higher at No. 17 and was the first female Kenyan boxer to win a Commonwealth Games medal, a bronze, in the sport.
Magno’s 1-2 combinations were precise, and so was her defense as she deftly eluded Ongare’s aggressive plays as a result of her being behind in the scorecards.
On Monday, flyweight No. 25 Carlo Paalam makes his Olympic debut at 11:03 am, Philippine time, as he battles 25-year-old Irishman Brendan Irvine, ranked No. 32.
On the same day, Petecio faces the biggest thorn in her road to gold when she fights top-seeded Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei in the round of 16 at 12:39 pm, Philippine time.
Eumir Marcial, by virtue of being seeded No. 3, drew a bye. Needing only two wins to clinch a bronze medal and four to secure gold, the middleweight Marcial will fight on Thursday the winner of the bout between Algeria’s Younes Nemouchi and Ugandan Kavuma David Ssemujju. – Rappler.com