Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines delivered a boxing clinic to Ratna Sari Devi of Indonesia en route to regaining her women’s featherweight title at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
Petecio, the Tokyo Olympics silver medalist, dominated the one-sided contest with her accurate punching and secured another gold medal for the Philippines after her triumph in the same division in the 2019 edition in Manila.
Petecio, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, was determined to win this fight for her younger brother Norlan, who had to settle for silver in the men’s welterweight finals against a vastly experienced Bunjong Sinsiri of Thailand.
Despite her success, Petecio was affected by her brother’s defeat, and she made sure to win her fight in honor of him.
It was a glorious campaign for Team Philippines atop the ring. Petecio, who won a silver medal in the same weight class at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was instrumental in concluding Team Philippines’ campaign in the boxing competitions of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games with four golds, five silvers, and one bronze.
The Philippines’ impressive medal tally surpassed their haul of 3 golds, 1 silver, and 5 bronzes achieved in the 2012 Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
At the 2019 Games, the reigning world champion participated in the women’s welterweight division (under-60 kg) and won a bronze medal, although she faced a tough defeat in the semifinals against the hometown favorite Tran Ti Linh in a closely fought split decision loss of 2-3.
Returning to her usual featherweight class, Petecio entered the final relatively unscathed, having secured a knockout victory in the quarterfinals against Laos’ Minavanh Oupaxa and a dominant unanimous decision win against Cambodia’s Vy Sreysros in the semifinals.
Paul Bascon (men’s lightweight), Carlo Paalam (bantamweight), and Ian Clark Bautista (featherweight) also won gold medals in their respective divisions, contributing to the team’s overall success.
Filipino boxers closed out their stint in the Games with four golds, five silvers, and one bronze. John Marvin suffered the same fate as Norlan Petecio in the light heavyweight class, while Rogen Ladon (flyweight), Irish Magno (bantamweight), Riza Pasuit (light welter), and Petecio herself also dropped their finals matches.
Despite these setbacks, the Philippines finally flexed its muscles and surged past Singapore for fifth place on the strength of a nine-gold surge on Sunday. Paalam and Petecio led the charge as they won their respective divisions with convincing victories.
Arnis delivered two golds for the Philippines, while weightlifting, judo, esports, and wrestling had one apiece. It was a fantastic performance by Filipino athletes, who showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Southeast Asian region.
Overall, it was a successful campaign for the Philippine contingent in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games. Nesthy Petecio’s gold medal was just one of the highlights of the team’s performance, as they showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of sports.