Filipina boxer and now Olympic silver medalist has nothing to be ashamed of after her second-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, falling just a short of a possible second gold for the Philippines.
While Petecio felt the need to apologize for not taking the gold, millions of Filipinos rallied behind her to assure the athlete that she made the country proud -- including Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz.
On Facebook, Diaz uploaded a video of her congratulating Petecio for her silver-medal feat in boxing, stressing that in her heart, the Pinay was the true winner of the match.
“Alam kong ginawa mo ang lahat and silver medal, additional medal 'yun sa atin. Pero alam mo, para sa puso ko at sa puso ng bawat Pilipino, ikaw ang panalo,” Diaz told Petecio.
“Congratulations and thank you for bringing pride and honor sa ating bansa.”
Diaz, who also claimed a silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics, revealed she was crying while watching the Davao-native fighter going head-to-head against Japanese Sena Irie.
“Alam mo kanina, sasabihin ko na parang umiiyak ako habang pinapanood ko kasi nga grabe ang intense ng laban n'yo and thank you. Thank you for fighting for the Philippines,” she added.
In another video, Diaz can be heard saying “two gold, please” while waiting for the decision of the gold-medal bout. Unfortunately, judges scored in favor of the hometown bet.
Petecio was still seen cracking a big smile when the decision was announced, and was the picture of sportsmanship as she hugged her opponent.
"Sobrang blessed ako, sobrang thankful din ako kay Lord po kasi hindi Niya ako pinabayaan sa taas ng ring, dalawa kami ng kalaban ko," Petecio told Paolo del Rosario of Cignal TV after the match. "Sobrang honored po ako na i-represent nga po 'yung Pilipinas po."
But her voice started to crack as she clutched the silver medal and admitted that she wanted to win the gold medal for her coaches, particularly Nolito "Boy" Velasco.
"Naiyak po ako kasi nanghihinayang po ako para sa mga coaches ko. Kasi nga, iaalay ko sana 'yung… gusto ko sanang ialay 'yung gold kay Coach Nolito po," she explained to del Rosario after the match.
"Pero ayun kinulang po tayo. Pero ginawa ko po 'yung best sa taas ng ring po, nakita niyo. Humabol po ako, humabol po ako. Pero, ayun, thank you, thank you sa lahat ng suporta po, at kay Lord po talaga," she added.
Petecio's silver is the Philippines' first Olympic medal in boxing since 1996, when Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco won a medal of the same color in Atlanta.
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