Tokyo Olympics

Eumir Marcial goes home with Tokyo Olympics bronze after tight slugfest

Beatrice Go

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Eumir Marcial goes home with Tokyo Olympics bronze after tight slugfest

DEFEATED. Eumir Marcial falls short against Ukraine's Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the men's middleweight semifinals.

Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS

Eumir Marcial adds a bronze to the Philippines' Olympic medal haul after his thrilling run ends in the men's middleweight semis

Eumir Marcial lost to Ukrainian foe Oleksandr Khyzhniak in a close fight and settled for a bronze in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Thursday, August 5, at the Kokugikan Arena.

The European champion won by split decision, 29-28, 30-27, 28-29, 29-28, 28-29, in the men’s middleweight semifinals.

Marcial added a bronze to the Philippines’ medal haul that includes weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz’s gold and boxer Nesthy Petecio’s silver.

Khyzhniak, who has not lost in over five years, extended his winning streak to 62, adding Marcial to his list of conquests.

Carlo Paalam remains as the only Filipino boxer in the running for a gold medal after punching his way to the men’s flyweight final.

Khyzhniak marches on to the men’s middleweight final on Saturday, August 7, 1:45 pm, Philippine time.

The Ukrainian came out aggressive in the opening round, but Marcial patiently waited for the right time to strike in the first minute.

Though the first round featured a return of punches from both sides, and Marcial picked up a nasty cut, the judges gave a 3-2 decision in favor of the Filipino.

Both boxers continued to land a flurry of punches in the second round, but Marcial mostly landed body shots and gave Khyzhniak a cut on the nose.

Though three of the judges favored the Filipino again, the match still went down to a total slugfest. Though clearly looking exhausted, Marcial continued to focus on the midsection of the Ukrainian, but Khyzhniak received the crucial favor of the judges this time.

Marcial marched to a sure Olympic bronze after his two bouts ended in stoppages in his favor.

After earning a bye to the round of 16, the 25-year-old Filipino won over Younes Nemouchi of Algeria in his opening bout and Arman Darchiyan of Armenia in the quarterfinal. –

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.