MARIO Fernandez lost in his first shot at gaining a berth in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after a unanimous decision defeat to Southeast Asian fighter Chatchai Butdee of Thailand on Thursday in the bantamweight semifinals of the Asia/Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Qian’an, China .
Fernandez bowed to Butdee, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, missing a chance at a gold medal in the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifiers, but the Filipino fighter can still gain an Olympic berth in a box-off between losing semifinalists.
In the box-off, Fernandez, a Southeast Asian Games gold medalist last year, will take on Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan, who bowed to Shiva Thapa of India, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, in the other semifinal pairing.
Rogen Ladon earlier qualified for a spot in Rio after a semifinal victory over Devendro Singh Laishram of India in the light flyweight division.
Charly Suarez and Eumir Felix Marcial will vie for Olympic berths in Thursday’s evening session.