Saturday 31 July 2021

Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines in tears as she after beating the Italian Irma Testa after the women’s semi-final boxing match (54-57 kg) during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on Saturday (July 31, 2021) celebrates. – AFP

TOKYO, July 31 (Philippines Daily Inquirer / ANN): Your country – the Philippines. Her father. Your deceased best friend. Your trainer. Every Filipino who prayed for her as she stepped into the ring for the biggest fight of her life yet.

Not even when she was cornered so deeply by an Italian opponent whose long-range thrusts came in quick, consecutive strikes Snapshots came that kept Petecio at bay. Not even when this opponent, Irma Testa, dominated the match so well that she had time to hold her cup in front of Petecio or to hold the Filipino in her forehead with a glove.

So she took the debacle of the first Round – in which she lost every judge’s card – and threw it behind her.

“I stayed close to her in the second round and used my speed and strength; I knew I had more strength than her, “said Petecio minutes after winning a split-decision victory over Testa in the women’s boxing semi-finals in Tokyo on Saturday at the Kokugikan Arena.

Your victory opened the door to an even bigger match: Petecio now has the chance to fight for the gold medal.

“It means a lot to me because it is my father’s dream and it is also my dream”, Petecio told a handful of international journalists. “It’s not just for me. It is for my country and the Filipinos who have prayed for me. “

In a Filipino conversation with the Filipino press, she also paid tribute to a recently deceased friend:” This is for my best buddy who died on February 13th is. Her name was Alexcel Dargantes and before she died her last message to me was ‘I want’ you to fight in the Olympics, I know you can do it – you will win. “

” Second round we had a four-point plan that the coaches gave me. If the first plan didn’t work, we’ll change until [we got it right] “

The plan worked perfectly. Petecio stepped within reach and discharged bomb after bomb on Testa, who was beginning to lose the composure she had on the first round. Sensing their enemy overwhelmed, Petecio stepped up the attack and wiped out Testa’s hard-earned cushion completely in the second round – the Filipino swept all the judges’ cards.

It all boiled down to the final round. And suddenly Testa’s size and reach advantage – the Italian is six inches taller than Petecio – no longer mattered.

“I know she’s big, but I didn’t mind; we’re the same in the ring, ”Petecio told foreign reporters.

Failed, hit and countered, Petecio pounded Testa from post to post. And even a late excitement could not influence the decision of four judges who gave the Petecio the round.

“This also applies to my coaches. They don’t stand out every time we win, ”said Petecio. “But now I’m offering this victory to my coaches.” – Philippines Daily Inquirer / ANN

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