Weightlifer Hidilyn Diaz and boxer Nesthy Petecio made history anew as they have assured the Philippines of at least two medals from the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
This, as Petecio is assured of at least an Olympic bronze medal after beating Yeni Arias of Colombia in the women’s featherweight quarterfinals at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Diaz won the gold in the 55-kilogram division, giving the country the first gold from the Games.
Despite an aggressive stance from Arias, Petecio landed the more accurate shots in the opening minutes, earning the nod of all five judges in Round 1.
Arias finally began connecting in Round 2, getting the 10-9 score from judges Yaroslav Renev and Zhang Guo, but the other three judges, Sidali Mokretari, Roberto Servide, and Maksim Sulejmani, gave Round 2 to Petecio.
Servide found Arias the better boxer after Round 3 but the other four judges had Petecio winning the final frame, and Petecio eventually got the unanimous decision win.
Coupled with weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz’s historic gold, the Philippines will be bringing home two or more
It was in 1932 when high jumper Simeon Toribio, boxer Jose Villanueva, and swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso won bronze medals in Los Angeles.
Petecio is assured of at least a bronze medal but her stint is not yet over.
She will face Irma Testa of Italy, also a unanimous decision winner over Canada’s Caroline Veyre in another quarterfinals, in the semifinals on Saturday with the winner entering the gold medal bout and assuring herself a silver at least.
Petecio also became the first boxer to win an Olympic medal since Onyok Velasco won the silver during the 1996 games in Atlanta.