HANGZHOU—Nesthy Petecio climbs the ring Friday in her first bout in the 19th Asian Games where she’s not only after a gold medal but a return trip to the Olympics.
Petecio, 32, fights women’s 57 kgs top seed Lin Yu Ting of Chinese Taipei who she beat at the Tokyo Olympics on her way to a silver medal two years ago.
It will be a clash of favored boxers in the division at the Hangzhou Gymnasium with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals.
“We’ll know who’s the better boxer here,” said national coach Ronald Chavez of the highly-anticipated bout.
Petecio edged the Taiwanese, 3-2, in the round of 16 in Tokyo to pave her way to the final where she eventually lost to gold medalist Sena Irie of Japan.
But the Asian Games are an entirely new episode for the two protagonists—Lin already owns an Asian Games bronze from the 2018 edition at 51 kg while Petecio is a former world champion who has yet to rule in the Asiad.
“It’s always in the quarterfinals,” said Petecio, who couldn’t advance further than the last eight in Jakarta 2018 Incheon 2014. “So this is a big challenge for me.”
The Asian Games boxing competitions are qualifiers to the 2024 Olympics but only the gold and silver medalists will reach Paris.
Heavyweight John Marvin was the latest Filipino fighter to advance after scoring a Referee Stopped Contest (RSC) victory against Rabin of Nepal late Wednesday night.
He joined Olympic medalists Carlo Paalam (silver) and Eumir Felix Marcial (bronze) in the next round.
Somnuek Thananya of Thailand meanwhile, won by walkover against Rizza Pasuit, who’s not with the Philippine team here, but was listed by organizers in the games’ official website.