Paris Olympics

Bound for Paris: Nesthy Petecio, Aira Villegas punch Olympic tickets

Delfin Dioquino

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Bound for Paris: Nesthy Petecio, Aira Villegas punch Olympic tickets

HYPED. Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines reacts after winning her fight against Irma Testa of Italy in the Tokyo Olympics.

Ueslei Marcelino/REUTERS

Boxers Nesthy Petecio and Aira Villegas emerge triumphant in their respective divisions in the World Qualification Tournament, increasing the Philippines' athlete roster for the Paris Games to six

MANILA, Philippines – With precious Olympic berths on the line, Nesthy Petecio and Aira Villegas made sure not to waste their chances.

The two Filipina boxers secured their places in the Paris Games after emerging triumphant in their respective divisions in the World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, on Monday, March 11 (Tuesday, March 12, Manila time).

Petecio booked a return trip to the Olympics after clinching a top-two finish in the women’s 57kg category with 4-1 split decision over Turkey’s Esra Yildiz.

A Tokyo Games silver medalist, Petecio flaunted her ring savvy as she built a 20-18 lead in four of the five judges’ scorecards following the first two rounds.

Yildiz earned the nod of all five judges in the third round, but Petecio – composed from start to finish – hardly looked threatened and won with scores of 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29.

It was the only split decision victory for Petecio in the tournament after she won her first four bouts either via unanimous decision or stoppage.

Still, it was enough for the pride of Davao del Sur to reach the Olympics for the second straight edition and get a crack at completing her unfinished business after falling short of the gold in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, Villegas survived Bulgaria’s Zlatislava Chukanova for a top-four finish in the women’s 50kg class via unanimous decision, 5-0, but not after a tight contest that saw three of the five judges settle for a tie, with the other two scoring in favor of the Filipina.

Villegas unanimously won the first two rounds, but she incurred a one-point penalty for holding as she left the comeback door ajar for Chukanova.

The Olympic ticket appeared to slip out of Villegas’ hands when she got knocked down in the third round after a right straight to the head from Chukanova, but the pride of Leyte brushed the fall off and finished the fight.

Villegas even got the nod of two judges in the third round as she sealed her spot for her Olympic debut, 29-27, 29-27, 28-28, 28-28, 28-28.

According to rules set by the Paris 2024 Boxing Unit, in the case three or more judges have even scores, they are requested to pick a winner. Villegas won the tiebreak.

Petecio and Villegas will join fellow boxer Eumir Marcial in Paris, increasing the Philippines’ athlete roster for the Olympics to six.

Also qualified for Paris are pole vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan.

Not as fortunate as Petecio and Villegas, though, were Carlo Paalam, Rogen Ladon, Claudine Veloso, Mark Ashley Fajardo, John Marvin, Ronald Chavez Jr., Hergie Bacyadan, and Riza Pasuit.

But they can still make the Olympics through the second World Qualification Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, in May. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Person, Human, Clothing


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.