February 26, 2024

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Nesthy Petecio leads Philippines’ 4-gold medal sweep in Spain boxing meet

5 min read
GOLDEN FEAT. Philippines’ Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Nesthy Petecio, third from left, leads the country’s four-gold medal sweep in the Boxam Elite Tournament on Saturday night, February 3, 2024, in La Nucia, Alicante, Spain. Also in the photo are fellow Filipino champions Hergie Bacyadan, Rogen Ladon, and Aira Villegas. MARTINEZ MB FACEBOOK PHOTO

Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Nesthy Petecio spearheaded the Philippines to an outstanding four-gold medal sweep at the Boxam Elite Tournament on Saturday night, February 3, 2024, in La Nucia, Alicante, Spain. 

Petecio, 31, claimed victory in the women’s 57kg (featherweight) championship, securing a hard-fought 4-1 split decision against the formidable Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist from Chinese Taipei, Huang Hsiao-Wen. 

PROUD TO BE A FILIPINO. Filipino Tokyo Olympics medalist Nesthy Petecio, a Coast Guard Petty Officer Second Class (PO2), salutes as the flag of the Philippines is being raised during the awarding ceremonies of the Boxam Elite Tournament on Saturday night, February 3, 2024, in La Nucia, Alicante, Spain. Federación Española de Boxeo Photo

Petecio lauded her opponent’s counterattacking skills and strategic prowess. Coached to maintain a steady approach, Petecio executed a game plan that involved quick engagements, timely exits, and effective counterattacks, ultimately overcoming the challenges posed by her opponent’s height and reach.

Petecio’s journey to the gold was marked by earlier victories, including a 4-2 split win over Sthelyne Grosy of France in the quarterfinals and advancement to the finals when Ana Marija Milisic of Switzerland abandoned their semifinal encounter in the second round. 

MEDALISTS ALL. Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio, second from left, joins other medalists in the women’s 57kg division during the awarding rites of the Boxam Elite Tournament on Saturday night, February 3, 2024, in La Nucia, Alicante, Spain. Federación Española de Boxeo Photo

The Sta. Cruz,  Davao del Sur native expressed gratitude to her coaches for their crucial guidance and support, acknowledging their instrumental role in her success.

In a heartfelt acknowledgment, Petecio extended her thanks to the Abap family, teammates, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the Philippine Coast Guard, family, and her partner Gen, crediting them as constant sources of inspiration. She expressed deep appreciation for the unwavering belief of the Filipino people, describing it as a blessing and offering profound gratitude to the Lord.

The Philippines’ triumph extended beyond Petecio, with Rio 2016 Olympian Rogen Ladon claiming the men’s 51kg gold with a default win over Istvan Szaka of Hungary. 

Champion Rogen Ladon of the Philippines atop the No. 1 podium in a photo opportunity with fellow medalists in the men’s 51kg event. Federación Española de Boxeo Photo

Ladon secured earlier victories over Scott Richards of Wales and Ari Bonilla of Mexico. 

Aira Villegas triumphed in the women’s 50kg category, surviving a 3-2 decision win over Kyzaibay Nazym of Kazakhstan. 

Aira Villegas of the Philippines, left, reacts after being declared the champion of the women’s 50kg class. Federación Española de Boxeo Photo

Hergie Bacyadan dominated the women’s 75kg event, securing a unanimous decision win against Yerzhan Gulsaya of Kazakhstan.

Hergie Bacyadan of the Philippines, left, clinches the gold for the Philippines in the women’s 75kg division. Federación Española de Boxeo Photo

Marcus Manalo, the secretary general of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP), praised the team’s achievements, recognizing the positive steps taken as they prepare for more challenging endeavors in the future. 

While the Boxam Elite Tournament was not the Olympic Qualifiers, Manolo emphasized the significance of their progress, signaling a promising direction for Filipino boxing on the global stage.

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