TOKYO 2020 | Philippines wins bronze in middleweight boxing, matches best-ever finish in a Olympic Summer Games
Aug 05, 2021 | 06:14 PM

By Manny Mogato

(AUGUST 5, 2021) – The Philippines on Thursday won a bronze medal in middleweight boxing, it’s third Olympic medal in the 32nd Olympiad in Tokyo, matching the best-ever finish in the Summer Games in 89 years.

But the country remained in the hunt for a gold medal as a flyweight boxer advanced to the final round on Saturday to give the Philippines its best-ever finish since it first participated in 1924.

Middleweight Eumir Marcial bowed to the defending world champion in a close split decision 3-2 to settle for the bronze medal after demolishing two opponents in the first round.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman, Harry Roque, congratulated Marcial and flyweight Carlo Paalam who advanced to the finals after convincing victory over a Japanese boxer. Paalam will fight for the gold medal on Saturday against a British southpaw. If he loses, he will get the silver medal.

“We are likewise proud of Eumir Marcial for his bronze medal finish in men’s middleweight boxing,” Roque said. “Our Filipino boxers have brought pride and honor to the Philippines. They truly serve as inspiration for our people, especially the youth, to emulate.”

Earlier, Nesthy Petecio won a silver medal after losing to a Japanese boxer, Sena Irie.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana praised Marcial, an air force soldier, for bagging the bronze medal in the men’s middleweight boxing category.

“He displayed incredible mettle and skill in the ring; his last match was a hard-fought competition between two world-class athletes,” Lorenzana said in a statement. “We thank him for the pride and glory he has brought to the Filipino people despite the odds.”

The armed forces spokesman, Navy Captain Jonathan Zata, also congratulated Marcial for “giving our country a bronze medal.” “A1C Marcial fought hard and showed the toughness of a true Filipino soldier,” he added.

Marcial will get P8 million as reward for winning a bronze medal. Two million pesos will come from the government as mandated by Republic Act 10699. Businessmen Manny V. Pangilinan and Ramon S Ang also promised P2 million each. One million pesos were also promised by Congressman Mikee Romero and businessman Dennis Uy of Phoenix Petroleum. The Philippine Airlines also pledged to provide 40,000 miles for free.

The country’s first ever gold medal winner, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz will get nearly P50 million pesos in cash and in kind while Petecio was promised nearly P30 million in cash and a condominium unit in Davao City.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics could be the best ever finish not only in the country but in Southeast Asia as well. Indonesia has a gold, a silver and three bronze. Thailand has a gold and a bronze and Malaysia has a bronze medal.