Paris Olympics

Carlo Paalam books return trip to Olympics as PH boxing cast grows

Delfin Dioquino

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Carlo Paalam books return trip to Olympics as PH boxing cast grows

OVERWHELMED. Carlo Paalam of the Philippines reacts after winning his fight against Ryomei Tanaka of Japan in the Tokyo Olympics.

Amr Abdallah Dalsh/REUTERS

Filipino boxer Carlo Paalam gets the job done this time after falling short in the two previous Olympic qualifiers as he wins all of his five bouts in the second World Qualification Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxer Carlo Paalam made sure not to miss the last bus to the Paris Games.

Paalam booked a return trip to the Olympics after a unanimous decision win over India’s Sachin Siwach in the men’s 57kg semifinals in the second World Qualification Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday, June 1.

Winning all three rounds, Paalam earned scores of 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28 to join the Philippines’ Olympic boxing cast that includes Eumir MarcialNesthy Petecio, and Aira Villegas.

The Tokyo Olympics silver medalist got the job done this time after falling short of a Paris berth in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in October, and in the first World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, in March.

He reached only the quarterfinals in the Asian Games then exited the first World Qualification Tournament in the last 16 due to a shoulder injury.

Regaining his top form, Paalam accomplished his mission of making the final two as he won all of his five bouts.

He started his campaign with a pair of unanimous decision victories over Greece’s Alexei Lagkazasvili and Turkmenistan’s Shukur Ovezov before he edged Armenia’s Artur Bazeyan in the last 16, winning via a tiebreak.

The pride of Bukidnon then toppled Dominican Republic’s Jose Luis delos Santos Feliz via unanimous decision in the quarterfinals to set up a clash with Siwach.

With three Paris seats up for grabs in his division, Paalam could have still remained in contention even if he fell to the Indian as the losers in the semifinals lock horns in a box off for the last Olympic slot.

But Paalam refused to take the risk and left it all in the ring against the taller Siwach, who failed to turn things around as the Filipino earned the nod of all five judges in the third round.

Also hoping to join Paalam and Co. in Paris, Hergie Bacyadan battles Venezuela’s Maryelis Yriza in the quarterfinals of the women’s 75kg class on Sunday, June 2, with an Olympic spot at stake. –

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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.