Cheers erupted from the Petecio household in Davao after Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio guaranteed the Philippines a second medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Petecio, competing in the women's featherweight division, outclassed Colombia's Yeni Marcela Arias Castaneda to win via unanimous decision and advance to the semifinals.
With her 5-0 win, the 29-year-old Petecio is now assured of at least a bronze -- the country's second medal in the Tokyo Games, after Hidilyn Diaz's historic gold in weightlifting last Monday night.
Petecio's parents, Teodoro and Prescilla, were moved to tears as their daughter was announced the winner.
For Teodoro, Nesthy's achievement is a fulfillment of his own dreams. Teodoro wanted to become a boxer in his youth, and dreamt of making it to the Olympics. He tried to go professional as well, but could not get a license due to a medical issue.
"Napakasarap," Teodoro said of seeing Nesthy compete at the highest stage. "Masarap sa damdamin ko na naituloy sa anak ko ang pangarap ko po."
A boxing coach himself, Teodoro initially did not want Nesthy to pursue boxing. "Pinapagalitan ko, pinapaalis ko. 'Wag ka diyan, babae ka, hindi para sa 'yo 'yan," he said.
But his daughter was persistent, and it resulted in a glittering amateur career that included a world championship in 2019, a Southeast Asian Games gold medal later that same year, and now, an Olympic medal.
"Ang sa amin ng kanyang pamilya, dasal, lubos na pagdarasal ang hinihingi namin," said Nesthy's mother, Prescilla. "Hindi basta-basta ang mga makakalaban niya."
"Medals na kasi 'yun sir so sobrang saya po namin," she added.
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.
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