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Nesthy Petecio now guaranteed of Tokyo Olympic medal after beating Colombian foe

Nesthy Petecio just gave the Philippines its second Olympic medal for the year.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The Philippine team is not done yet.

Two days after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz secured the country's first ever Olympic gold, boxer Nesthy Petecio is now assured of a medal of her own after beating Yeni Arias of Colombia in the women's featherweight quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

Despite an aggressive stance from Arias, Petecio landed the more accurate shots in the opening minutes, earning the nod of all the five judges in Round 1.

Arias finally began connecting in Round 2, getting the 10-9 score from Judges Yaroslav Renev and Zhang Guo, but the three judges, Sidali Mokretari, Roberto Servide, and Maksim Sulejmani, gave Round 2 to Petecio.

Servide found Arias the better boxer after Round 3, but the other four judges had Petecio winning the final frame, and Petecio eventually got the unanimous decision win.

Petecio is now assured of at least a bronze medal, but her stint is still not yet over.

Petecio will face Irma Testa of Italy, also a unanimous decision winner over Canada's Caroline Veyre in another quarterfinal, in the semifinals on Saturday with the winner entering the gold medal bout and assuring herself a silver at least.

Regardless of what happens to Petecio, the Philippines will bring home two or more Olympic medals for the first time since 1932, when high jumper Simeon Toribio, boxer Jose Villanueva, and swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso won bronze medals in Los Angeles.

Petecio also became the first boxer to win an Olympic medal since Onyok Velasco won the silver during the 1996 games in Atlanta.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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