Olympic silver medalist Petecio skipping world championships


THE Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) will open training camp on Monday in Baguio City for the International Boxing Association Women’s World Championships in Istanbul in December—sans Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Nesthy Petecio.

“I would like to rest and spend my time with my family. I have been away from them for several months,” Petecio told BusinessMirror on Tuesday. She is currently in the Island Garden City of Samal, a good two-and-a-half-hour drive and a ferry ride away from her home in Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.

The Abap will field a team only in the women’s world championship. The association opted not to send a squad to the men’s world championships set next week in Belgrade because of lack of preparations wrought by pandemic protocols.

Petecio won’t be defending her featherweight gold medal in the Turkish capital.

Petecio won the women’s featherweight gold medal in the October 2019 Ulan-Ude (Russia) world championships and qualified, along with fellow silver medalist Carlo Paalam, for the Olympics through the world rankings when the Covid-19 pandemic prevented some of the qualifiers for Tokyo from pushing through.

The Abap instructed Australian coach and consultant Don Abnett to open training camp at the Philippine Sports Commission facility at the Teachers’ Camp in Baguio City.

Petecio, 29, said that she would like to give way to the other boxers to vie in the world championships.

“It’s also not [good] that you compete in all tournaments. I really want to give other boxers the opportunity and exposure, I am not the only boxer so I want to give way,” said Petecio, a Petty Officer Third Class in the Philippine Coast Guard. “I haven’t talked yet with the coaches yet, but I’m skipping the world championships.”

But Petecio stressed that she’s not retiring—although she’s enjoying the perks of her Olympic silver that netted her more than P17 million in cash bonuses and properties in Tagaytay City and Davao City.

Tokyo Olympian Irish Magno, however, will be in the training camp as she resumes her gold medal quest.

“I got the call to report to Baguio City next week, so my boxing journey continues toward the Paris Olympics in 2024,” said Magno, who exited in the quarterfinals of the women’s flyweight division in Tokyo. “I want to get a spot in the world championships this year.”

Magno, like all the other 15 Filipino athletes in Tokyo who didn’t make the podium, still got modest incentives from the government and private sector.

“I was able to build a house for my parents from my earnings in the Olympics,” said the pride of Janiuay in Iloilo.

Expected to be at the camp are former world and Asian Games gold medalist Josie Gabuco (light flyweight), Risa Pasuit (lightweight), Maricel Dela Torre (featherweight) and Aira Villegas (flyweight).

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