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MANILA, Philippines – If boxer Nesthy Petecio needs motivation, she only has to think about her goal of winning an Olympic gold medal.
Petecio admitted being at a career crossroads after bagging silver in the Tokyo Games – the crown jewel of her impressive collection that includes titles from the World Boxing Championships and Southeast Asian Games.
What more would Petecio want after becoming the first female boxer from the Philippines to clinch an Olympic medal?
“I was thinking if I still want to do this, if I can still do this. After the Tokyo Olympics, I already reached the pinnacle of my dreams,” Petecio said in Filipino.
Petecio suffered a series of heartbreaking defeats following her featherweight silver in Tokyo, where she lost to home bet Sena Irie in the final.
The pride of Davao del Sur settled for a lightweight bronze in the Vietnam SEA Games last year, her lowest finish in the biennial meet since she started representing the Philippines in the 2011 edition.
She then snagged a featherweight bronze in the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Jordan in November and crashed out of the round of 16 in the World Boxing Championships in India in March.
But Petecio proved in the Cambodia SEA Games she has not lost her golden touch.
Petecio did not drop a round in her unanimous decision demolition of Indonesia’s Ratna Sari Devi in the final to reclaim the featherweight crown she first won in 2019 as she powered a four-gold haul by the boxing team.
“My motto is I’ll never fold until I get the gold,” said Petecio.
“I always go back to that. I try to find motivation so I can give the Olympics another shot. I had a hard time coming back, but my inner Nesthy says that I can still do it.”
“A gold in the Olympics, that is what I want.”
Petecio can punch her ticket to the 2024 Paris Games in the upcoming Asian Games in China, where the top four in the women’s featherweight will advance to the Olympics. – Rappler.com