TOKYO—Eumir Felix Marcial is living up to his lofty billing at the Tokyo Olympics. And he did so emphatically on Sunday.
Marcial knocked out fellow pro Arman Darchinyan of Armenia in the first round of their men’s middleweight quarterfinal bout at the Kokugikan Arena, assuring not only himself of a medal in his Olympic debut, but the Philippines’s third medal as well.
“It’s muscle memory which I developed through long hours of training under my coaches,” said Marcial, referring to the 1-2 jab-straight textbook punches he used in setting up a jarring right hook that sent Darchinyan out for good with 49 seconds remaining in the opening round.
A minute into the fight, the same 1-2 combination hurt the Armenian, forcing the referee to give him a mandatory standing 8-count. All smiles during the post-fight interview, Marcial said he is dedicating his campaign to his dad, Eulalio, who dreamt of his son fighting in the Olympics.
“This is my father’s dream, and my dream, to fight in the Olympics,” Marcial said. “And with me assured of a medal, I have overtaken my dream.”
Marcial could do even better, just like fellow boxer Nesthy Petecio who’s in the women’s featherweight gold medal play after defeating a taller Italian on Friday.
The 25-year-old pride of Zamboanga City fights former tormentor Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the semifinals on Thursday, hoping for a chance to match Hidilyn Diaz’s historic gold medal in women’s weightlifting. The Kasumigaseki Country Club course, meanwhile, wasn’t that friendly to Juvic Pagunsan.
Pagunsan closed out with a one-under par 70 also on Sunday to wind up in 55th place in a field of 60 in the men’s competition of golf, finishing 19 shots behind gold medal winner Xander Shauffele of the US.
And Carlos Yulo returns to the Ariake Gymnastics Center on Monday night for the finals of the men’s vault in artistic gymnastics with mission—seek redemption after crashing out of his pet floor exercise in the qualifying round more than a week ago.
Yulo ranked sixth in the eight-gymnast final which Yulo’s Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya said could be a showdown between South Korea’s Shin Jeahwan and Turkey’s Ahmet Onder.