Olympic gold medal remains my top priority, focus–Paalam


THE road back to the Olympics looks more complicated this time for Carlo Paalam but the silver medalist at the Tokyo Games is more than determined to hunt for that gold.

“The Olympics are my priority, I’ll do everything to win the gold,” Paalam told BusinessMirror before the Holy Week break. “I’m doing everything to improve my skills and keep my focus.”

Paalam, 24 and a pride of Cagayan de Oro City, has been training with other national boxers at the Philippine Sports Commission facility inside Teachers’ Camp in Baguio City.

He’s targeting another crack at an Olympic gold medal in men’s flyweight but before he does that, he has to settle as a bantamweight in the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games in May.

“My focus is the SEA Games and then the Asian Games, which is very crucial for me,” he said.

From bantamweight, Paalam will revert to flyweight in the September Asian Games Hangzhou where tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympics are staked.

“I’m making the necessary adjustments from bantamweight to flyweight. It’s a little bit challenging but it’s doable,” Paalam said.

Bantamweight is at 53.5 kgs while flyweight is 51 kgs.

Paalam is giving way to back-to-back SEA Games flyweight gold medalist Rogen Ladon in the Cambodia SEA Games.

Paalam was in the most successful batch of athletes in the Olympics in Tokyo topped by weightlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo and boxing silver medalist Nesthy Petecio and bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial.

Meanwhile, there will be no foreign training for the national boxers ahead of the Cambodia SEA Games, according to Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines secretary-general Marcus Jarwin Manalo.

Manalo said training camp will remain in Baguio City until the team flies to Cambodia for the boxing competitions that are scheduled a day after the May 5 opening ceremony and end on May 14.

The ABAP official also said the country won’t be competing in the world championships in India and in any other International Boxing Association-sanctioned competitions.

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