(UPDATED) Nesthy Petecio will return to the Philippines as a silver medalist, after losing to Japan's Irie Sena in the final of the women's featherweight division on Tuesday at the Kokugikan Arena.
This is the Philippines' first silver of the Tokyo Games.
Irie won via unanimous decision, 5-0, after fending off Petecio's flurry of punches throughout the three-round affair.
Petecio tried her best to impose her will, but she could never establish a rhythm as her Japanese foe resorted to clinching even during the early goings of the fight. Irie won the first round on all five of the judges' scorecards, and Petecio stayed in the hunt by winning four of the five cards in round two.
The Davao native went all out in Round 3, landing her trademark combinations, but Irie landed enough punches to convince the judges and secure the win.
The 20-year-old Irie continues to be a thorn on Petecio's side.
The Japanese boxer also defeated Petecio, 4-1, in the Asia-Oceania qualifiers in March 2020 that kept the Filipina from qualifying outright to the Summer Games. She eventually gained her slot through her rankings.
Though she didn't reach the top of the podium, it was still an impressive Olympic stint for the 29-year-old Petecio who had to overcome a tough road just to make it to the finals -- including fighting the top-seeded Lin Yu-Ting of Taiwan in the round-of-16.
This is the Philippines' first Olympic medal in boxing since the 1996 Games in Atlanta, when Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco won silver in light flyweight.
Two more boxers -- middleweight Eumir Marcial and flyweight Carlo Paalam -- are also assured of bronze medals and will be fighting to make it to the gold medal matches of their respective divisions on Thursday.
Malacañang congratulated Petecio, saying she “made us very proud.”
“As usual, ang kuwento po ni Nesthy ay kuwento ng buong sambayanang Pilipino. Tayo po naghirap, nangarap, nagwagi,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said.
(Nesthy’s story is the story of the Filipino nation. We suffered, dreamed, and won.)
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