ANALYSIS: Paalam exceeded expectations in his first Olympics

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2021 10:09 PM

Philippines' Carlo Paalam (red) and Algeria's Mohamed Flissi fight during their men's fly (48-52kg) preliminaries round of 16 boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 31, 2021. Ueslei Marcelino, Reuters
Philippines' Carlo Paalam (red) and Algeria's Mohamed Flissi fight during their men's fly (48-52kg) preliminaries round of 16 boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 31, 2021. Ueslei Marcelino, Reuters

Facing tall odds as a first-time Olympian, Carlo Paalam overachieved in Tokyo, one boxing analyst said. 

Through his slick fighting skills, Paalam went through 4 opponents before ending his Olympic journey with a loss to Great Britain's Galal Yafai. 

The effort was still good for an Olympic silver medal, though.

"He exceeded expectations. In the first place there was no hype surrounding Paalam. He was a dark horse," fight analyst Nissi Icasiano said.

Paalam fought gallantly, in the hopes of copping the gold, even after he got knocked down with a hard straight left by Yafai.

" 'Yun talaga ang laro niya pressure at diretso," Paalam said. "Hindi ako nagpagulat pero 'yun lang natamaan ako ng solid. Pero bumangon ako kasi gusto kong bumawi talaga e, gusto kong ipaglaban ang Pilipino.

"Alam ko lugi ako. Nakuha niya ako sa first round, pero gusto kong bumawi talaga para mag-split kami. Inilabas ko ang best ko talaga."

Icasiano agreed that Paalam did what he could to chase gold, but Yafai's volume of punches proved too overwhelming.

"Yafai has done something which Paalam's past opponents failed to do — put him off his game. That was the point of the fight," Icasiano said. "The best man just won this afternoon."

Still Paalam's achievement was nothing to sneeze at.

"Hindi natin akalain nakuha ko ito sa first time kong naglaro ng Olympics. Halos lahat ng magaling nandito, two times na na Olympian dito. Ako kapapasok pa lang," he said.

For breaking news and latest developments on the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, visit https://news.abs-cbn.com/tokyo-olympics

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