Paris Olympics

Before exploring ‘normal life,’ Petecio eyes gold in possibly final Olympic stint

Delfin Dioquino

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Before exploring ‘normal life,’ Petecio eyes gold in possibly final Olympic stint

PRIDE. Nesthy Petecio in action for the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics.

Luis Robayo/REUTERS

'I want to leave the sport by making history,' says Olympic silver medalist Nesthy Petecio as she aims to complete her unfinished business in the Paris Games

MANILA, Philippines – Nesthy Petecio longs for a “normal life,” when she can wake up and have a cup of coffee without having to think about boxing training for the rest of the day.

Now 32 years old, Petecio has served the country for over a decade as a member of the national team, delivering multiple medals that include a silver in the Tokyo Olympics and a gold in the World Championships.

But before she hangs up her gloves, the pride of Davao feels she has more to accomplish.

“We could have stopped after Tokyo, we could have just relaxed and lived a normal life in which there is no need to wake up at dawn or exercise even at midnight just to make weight,” Petecio said in Filipino during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday, June 11.

“I chose to stay because I know there is something missing. I still want to prove myself.”

That one thing is an Olympic gold that has eluded Petecio and the rest of the Philippine boxing team.

Petecio came close to that goal in Tokyo when she reached the final of the women’s 57kg class but she fell at the hands of home bet Sena Irie of Japan via unanimous decision.

The first Filipina to win an Olympic boxing medal, Petecio aims to complete her unfinished business in the Paris Games, where she will compete alongside fellow boxers Eumir Marcial, Carlo Paalam, Hergie Bacyadan, and Aira Villegas.

“I want to exit boxing excellently. I want to leave the sport by making history,” said Petecio.

Petecio said Paris could be the final time she represents the country in the Olympics as she aims to settle down and explore other career opportunities.

“I really love this sport. I’ve been here for 17 years, that is almost half my life,” said Petecio. “It is a hard decision, but I’m getting older. I’m not getting any younger. I also have to give time to myself and my personal life.”

“After Tokyo, there were a lot of opportunities that came to my life. I realized that there are a lot of things that I can do, that I’m not supposed to stay in my comfort zone.”

“I want to explore a normal life.”

Petecio, though, is not retiring anytime soon as she seeks to win a medal in the Asian Games – the only precious hardware missing in her collection.

The next edition of the continental showpiece will be staged in 2026 in Japan.

“I won gold in the SEA Games, I won gold in the worlds, I won silver in the Olympics. It is only in the Asian Games where I have not won a medal,” said Petecio. –

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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.