MANILA, Philippines -- Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio believes a training camp in the Philippines will work to her favor as she gears up for the final qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for June in Paris, France.
This, even as the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) has reportedly been working on an overseas camp for its boxers. The national federation is planning on a camp in Thailand next month for its Olympic qualifiers and hopefuls.
Petecio, the world champion in 2019, said in a recent PSC Hour appearance that she would prefer to stay in the Philippines.
"Kung sa akin po talaga, kung ako ang tatanungin, gusto ko mag-stay lang muna dito sa Pilipinas," said Petecio.
"Kasi unang-una, lahat ng medal ko, lahat ng gold ko, sa Pinas lang ako nag-training eh. So kumbaga, hawak lang ako ng mga coaches ko eh. Training program lang talaga nila ang sinunod ko, inasahan namin," she explained.
Petecio made it clear that she is not against going abroad and is not opposing the plans being put together by the federation.
However, she also admits that training in a different country has its own difficulties, as opposed to staying at home.
"Para po sa akin, mas gusto kong andito lang. Kasi kung anong training nila coach, training program nila, 'yung oras nila na gusto nilang mag-training kami, nasusunod," she said.
"Kumbaga, 'pag nasa abroad kasi kami kailangan namin mag-adjust kasi ganito ang oras ng training ng ibang bansa," Petecio pointed out. "So kumbaga, mababago 'yung training program na gusto nilang gawin sa amin 'pag nasa abroad kami."
Petecio, together with other members of the national team including Carlo Paalam, is set to enter the "bubble" at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna this weekend to begin their training camp. This marks the first time in several months that she can spar with other boxers, after only doing virtual sessions during the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Petecio is trying to secure a slot in the Tokyo Olympics via the final qualifying tournament, which offers four slots in her division.
"Kailangan mag-bronze po talaga," she said. "Medyo hindi siya ganoon kadali, mahirap talagang sabihin na, 'Ah, bronze lang 'yan.'"
"Ganoon 'yung iba eh. Hindi nila alam 'yung impact sa 'yo, sa mismong naglalaro. Ang hirap kasi lahat ng kalaban mo, nage-aim din makakuha ng slot eh. Hindi talaga siya ganoon kadali," she stressed.