Palace elated over Pinoy athletes’ performance in Olympics

MANILA – Malacañang on Saturday expressed delight over the performance of several Filipino athletes at the Tokyo Olympics.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque relayed the Palace’s congratulatory message for boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

“We congratulate Nesthy Petecio in winning the women’s boxing featherweight semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics and securing a second Olympic medal for the Philippines; EJ Obiena for leaping into the finals of the Men’s Pole Vault; and Carlo Paalam for clinching a quarterfinals ticket in the men’s boxing flyweight class,” Roque said.

A second Olympic gold medal could now be within the Philippines’ reach after Petecio bested Italy’s Irma Testa via split decision, 4-1, in the semifinals of the women’s featherweight division of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics’ boxing tournament at the Kokugikan Arena on Saturday.

Paalam, on the other hand, moved closer to winning a guaranteed bronze medal after he was able to secure a ticket to the quarterfinals of the men’s flyweight division on Saturday.

He made it to the next round of the competition at the Kokugikan Arena after winning via unanimous decision against Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi in the Round of 16.

Obiena also qualified for the finals of the men’s pole vault competition at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium.

This was after he cleared the 5.75 meters on his third and final try to stay in contention for a medal. He hurdled the 5.50- and 5.65-meter marks in one attempt.

Roque said the Palace joins the Filipino people in rejoicing the performance of the three athletes in Saturday’s schedule of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“The whole nation is praying for our athletes as their quest for an Olympic gold medal continues. Go for gold!” he said.

Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz ended the Philippines’ nearly century-old Olympic gold medal quest after ruling the women’s 55-kg. weightlifting category on Monday. (PNA)