TOKYO - Featherweight Nesthy Petecio methodically tore apart Arias Castaneda of Colombia, 5-0, in their featherweight quarterfinal on Wednesday to assure Team Philippines of a second medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Launching into a tactical fight against a game but outclassed Colombian, Petecio repeatedly landed clean shots both from inside and afar to assure the frst multi-medal Olympic performance by a Philippine contingent in 89 years.
"Masayang-masaya po," said the 29-year old world champion, just moments after advancing to the semifinals of the 54-57kg weight class and assuring boxing's first Olympic medal since Onyok Velasco's silver in 1996 in Atlanta.
"Sobrang blessed po," she added.
Coming on the heels of Hidilyn Diaz's weightlifting gold on Monday, Petecio's win also guaranteed this 19-man contingent of its most prolific Olympic finish since the 1932 Games in Los Angeles, where Simeon Toribio (high jump), Teofilo Ildefonso (swimming) and Jose Villanueva (boxing) won bronze medals.
She is also bound to become the first woman boxer to land an Olympic medal.
The Davao native guns for a place in the finals on July 31 (Saturday) against Italian Irma Testa, a tall and intimidating fighter who more or less fights in the same style as world No. 1 Lin Yu-ting, who Petecio sent crashing in the round of 16.
Testa used her advantage in reach to the limit in beating Canadian Caroline Verge, 5-0, in the match immediately after Petecio's.
The 23-year old from Assisi is ranked No. 5 in the world, two rungs higher than the Filipina she is set to meet in the semifinals for a place in the gold-medal match.
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