Three Filipino Olympians sent their countrymen abuzz on social media on Saturday, as they asserted themselves in their respective events at the Tokyo Games.
Pole-vaulter EJ Obiena opened the day on a high note after successfully clearing the 5.75 meters to advance in the final round.
Things looked easy at first for Obiena, passing the 5.50 meters and 5.65 meters in just one attempt.
But he missed the 5.75-meter mark after two attempts. With only one more chance to clear the bar, Obiena successfully crossed the bar to keep his medal hopes alive.
Several minutes after, Carlo Paalam stepped into the boxing ring anew for a Round of 16 bout against the 3-time Olympian foe Mohamed Flissi of Algeria.
With a quarterfinal slot on the line, Paalam dominated the fourth-seeded Algerian boxer via unanimous decision to advance to the next round, putting him just a win away from an assured Olympic medal.
Nesthy Petecio, already assured of a medal, put the icing on the cake when she put herself in position for a gold medal in women’s featherweight boxing.
Petecio bucked first round jitters with a flurry of punches in the second and third rounds to snatch the win over the taller Italian foe Irma Testa in the semifinals.
The 4-1 split decision victory by Petecio put the Philippines on the cusp of a second Olympic gold medal in the Summer Games.
The series of victories excited many Filipinos, showering their admiration and support to Petecio on social media with “Nesthy” and “Laban Pilipinas” trended on Twitter.
The three Olympians will all see action on Tuesday, August 3.
Last week, the country widely celebrated the historic feat of Hidilyn Diaz when she ended the 97-year gold medal drought of the Philippines at the Olympics, winning the women’s 55kg event in weightlifting.
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