The Philippines has already made its best ever Olympic medal harvest at Tokyo after Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial advanced to the semifinals and assured the country at least a bronze medal.
Marcial’s bronze adds to the assured silver of Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio and the gold won by weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.
It was in 1932 that the Philippines won three bronze medals courtesy of high jumper Simeon Toribio, boxer Jose Villanueva, and swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso won bronze medals in Los Angeles.
Although Marcial was aware of the power of his opponent Arman Darchinyan of Armenia, he knocked out his foe in the first round to advance to the men’s middleweight division. Marcial’s entry into the men’s middleweight semifinals assured him of at least a bronze medal, and a win in his next bout will assure him at least a silver.
“I didn’t expect I would finish the fight in the first round because I know he’s a good boxer, a strong boxer. [But] that’s boxing, you know? You don’t expect the punch,” Marcial said.
In his first bout at Tokyo, Marcial also disposed of his foe Younes Nemouchi from Algeria in the first round.
The other Filipino Olympians who are also in the running for medals at Tokyo are boxer Carlo Paalam and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.