The gold may have eluded Philippine boxing yet again, but the three medals it collected in Tokyo will give the country its best-ever Olympic performance in the squared circle.
Two silvers from Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial’s bronze nearly equaled the entire medal haul in boxing since the Philippines made its Olympic boxing debut at the 1932 Los Angeles Games.
Five medals have been won by the country prior to the start of the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics, including two silvers from Anthony Villanueva in 1964 and Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco in 1996.
The rest are bronze medals courtesy of Villanueva’s father Jose (1932), Leopoldo Serantes (1988) and Velasco’s brother Roel (1992).
Petecio ended the country’s 25-year medal drought in boxing before taking the silver after bowing to Japan’s Sena Irie in the final of the women’s featherweight division.
Marcial made it two medals for the Philippines shortly after, but his bid to capture the men’s middleweight gold was derailed by Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak during an action-packed semis bout to end up with the bronze.
Paalam wrapped up the country’s Olympic campaign with a silver yesterday following his loss to Great Britain’s Galal Yafai in the men’s flyweight final.
The three boxers are also assured of getting boatloads of incentives from the government as prescribed by RA 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act and the private sector which made pledges before and during the Olympic campaign.
Petecio and Paalam will get at least P17 million each for getting the silver while P7 million will be handed to Marcial for the bronze.
Women’s flyweight Irish Magno, who was eliminated in the round-of-16, won’t go empty-handed as the Philippine Olympic Committee earlier announced that non-medalists will get P500,000 through the MVP Sports Foundation.