From how national boxing officials understand the abbreviated qualification system, Filipino boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam should be gaining berths to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) executives Ricky Vargas and Ed Picson said in an interview on Noli Eala's "Power and Play," the cancellation of the final world qualifying tournament in France has apparently made that possible.
"Some of our boxers, at least, is No. 1 in Asia. I think it's Nesthy and Carlo Paalam. Without the qualifying round, we should be able to qualify them," said Vargas, president of the ABAP, the sport's national governing body.
Secretary-general Picson said that, since the final qualifiers have been scrapped, the International Olympic Committee boxing task force will fill the remaining entries through the boxing rankings.
"With that, the best way they see for picking the qualified boxers is to equitably distribute it to all 4 continents — Asia-Oceana, Americas, Europe, Africa," Picson said.
"Kung equitably idi-distribute sa Asia, Nesthy is No. 5 . . . 'Yung mga taga-Asia na nasa taas na qualified na, they are no longer in the count.
"Ang hinahanap ay sino ba ang highest-ranked boxer after the qualifications? That would be Nesthy Petecio. Same with Carlo Paalam . . . May 6 sa Asia na nasa taas niya, lahat sila qualified na. So umakyat kami, siya na No. 1."
Vargas said the ABAP is merely waiting for confirmation from the organizing committee.
"Naghihintay na lang kami ng balita from the organizing committee if they'd be qualified. No. 1 in Asia sila (Petecio and Paalam), e di 4 na ang boxers natin (sa Olympics)," said Vargas. "Magandang sign 'yan."
If that happens Petecio and Paalam will join Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno in Tokyo.
Marcial and Magno gained their qualification after their success in the Asia-Oceania qualifiers in March 2020 in Jordan.
Picson said 2 other Filipino boxers also have a slight chance to get in.
"Ian Clark Bautista, he is in the 57-kg class. 'Yung No. 1 from Mongolia and No. 2 from India iyon ang nakaharang sa kanya . . . Jon Marvin, 'yung 81-kg fighter natin, (has a chance), if also those above them have reasons not to make it (to Tokyo)," he said.
Petecio and Paalam are with other members of the national boxing team training at the Inspire Sports ACademy in Calamba, Laguna.
The ABAP is planning for them to fly to Thailand later this month for another camp.
FROM THE ARCHIVES