(UPDATED) For the first time since 1932, the Philippines will win more than one medal in an Olympic Games.
This, after Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio advanced to the semifinals of the women's featherweight class in the Tokyo Olympics, assuring her of at least a bronze medal.
Petecio put on a superb display of counterpunching in defeating Colombia's Yeni Marcela Arias Castaneda via unanimous decision, with all five judges giving her the nod.
The 29-year-old Petecio, who hails from Davao, will be the second Philippine medalist in Tokyo. Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz on Monday made history when she won the country's first-ever gold medal after nearly 100 years of participation in the Summer Games.
This is only the second time that the Philippine delegation will go home with multiple medals, after the 1932 Games in Los Angeles where they bagged three bronzes: Simeon Toribio in the men's high jump, boxer Jose Villanueva in men's bantamweight, and swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso on the men's 200-meter breaststroke.
Petecio got off to a rousing start, landing crisp counterpunches to offset Castaneda's activity. All five judges gave her the first round. The Colombian boxer was even more aggressive in the second round, but Petecio continued to land the cleaner punches to get the nod on three of the five judges' cards.
An emotional Petecio tapped the Philippine flag on her chest as she waited for the decision, and was near tears as her name was announced as the winner.
It has already been a superb Olympic campaign for Petecio, who qualified via her rankings after failing to do so in the Asia-Oceania qualifiers in March 2020. She made her debut in impressive fashion, beating Marcelat Sakobi Matshu of Congo, 5-0.
In the round-of-16, Petecio overcame her biggest hurdle yet, as she defeated the top-seeded Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese-Taipei via a 3-2 split decision to advance.
In the semifinals, Petecio will take on Italy's Irma Testa, who won via a 5-0 decision over Caroline Veyre of Canada in her own quarterfinal match-up.
The bout is set for July 31 at the Kokugikan Arena.
The other members of the Philippine boxing team are still in the running for medals as well.
Filipina flyweight Irish Magno will take on a Southeast Asian rival, Jutamas Jitapong of Thailand, in the round-of-16 on Thursday. Eumir Marcial, another medal hopeful, will make his debut when he faces Algeria's Younes Nemouchi in men's middleweight, also on Thursday morning.
Carlo Paalam will be up against Algeria's Mohamed Flissi in men's flyweight on Saturday, July 31.
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