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Nesthy Petecio heads to Olympic gold medal match

Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio reacts after winning her fight against Irma Testa of Italy at the Tokyo Olympic Games, July 30. — REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Another Olympic gold medal for the Philippines is within reach after featherweight boxer Nesthy A. Petecio secured a spot in the finals at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday.

Ms. Petecio, 29, defeated Irma Testa of Italy by split decision, 4-1, in the women’s featherweight semifinal bout at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

Four judges each scored the fight, 29-28, for the Filipino boxer, while one saw it, 28-29, for Ms. Testa.

The Filipina boxer bucked a slow start to edge the taller Italian, and now heads to the gold medal match set for Aug. 3.

Ms. Petecio sized up her opponent for much of the opening round before turning up the heat in the next two rounds, connecting on a barrage of blows to the body and head.

She now has the chance to duplicate the feat of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who won the country’s first-ever gold medal on July 26. She is already assured of a silver medal, the Philippines’ first Olympic medal for a female boxer.

In the finals, Ms. Petecio will face either Karriss Artingstall of Great Britain or Sena Irie of Japan, who were set to fight later on Saturday. – Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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