The Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio defeated Marcelat Sakobi Matshu of Democratic Republic of Congo 5-0 in their opening-round women’s featherweight match in the Olympics in Tokyo on Saturday.
She erased a tentative start with power shots in the last 2 rounds to fashion out a dominant win over the Congolese at Kokugikan Arena.
After a shaky first round, Petecio went to work starting in the second, using her lateral movement to create clear angles, where she landed her power blows.
The game plan continued in the third, including heavy combinations midway, mixed by a defensive effort in the end to seal the win (30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27).
The breezy victory, however, was just the calm before the storm as she takes on a tornado of a foe in the Final 16 in Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei, a former world champion and the top seed in the 54 to 57kg division.
Game time is on Monday at 12:39 p.m., Philippine time.
Petecio is one of 4 Filipino boxers seeing action in the Olympics.
Another Filipina boxer, Irish Magno, tangles with Kenya’s Christine Ongare in a flyweight bout on Sunday (11:15 a.m.).
On the men’s side, Carlo Paalam faces Iran’s Brendan Irvine in their flyweight opener on Monday (12:03 p.m.)
Middlweight Eumir Marcial, who received a schedule bye, will compete on Thursday (10:48 a.m.), as he awaits his opponent.
Petecio is a 3-time silver medalist at the Southeast Asian Games, before finally copping the gold in 2019.
For Petecio, making it to the Olympics is the culmination of a lifelong dream.
"Ito 'yung pinaka-highest na pangarap ng lahat ng mga atleta," she has said.
"Kumbaga, para sa akin, kahit ano po 'yung mga nag-gold man ako sa SEA Games, sa kung anong international po, kumbaga 'pag hindi ako nakapasok sa Olympics, hindi ako nakalaro sa Olympics, kumbaga useless lahat po 'yun eh.
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