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Magno comes up short

Irish Magno

TOKYO – Irish Magno became the first casualty of the Philippine boxing team after bowing to a crafty Thailand foe in Jutamas Jitpong in the women’s 48-51kg division of the Summer Olympic Games’ boxing competitions at the Kokugikan Arena here on Thursday.

Magno could not duplicate her win against the same opponent in the semifinals of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games as she fell to the Thai in a 5-0 unanimous decision loss that ended her Olympic dream, for now.

“Siyempre po nalulungkot po ako sa naging resulta. Ang Olympics po ay hindi basta-basta, lahat naghahanda dahil gustong makapag-kamit ng medalya, kaya ibinubuhos lahat. Sa akin po, tuloy-tuloy pa rin po. Hangga’t walang ginto, hindi po tayo susuko, tuloy lang ang laban,” said the 25-year-old Magno.

Hopes were high on the flyweight Filipina, who started her campaign here with a dominant 5-0 blanking of Kenyan Christine Ongare, setting up her clash with Jitpong, who Magno sparred with several times during the Philippine team’s three-month training camp in Thailand.

“It has been an incredible journey for Irish. She and Jitpong had some lively spars in Thailand the last three months. Reports were that it was quite even. Obviously, today the Thai girl got the better of Irish,” said Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines secretary-general Ed Picson.

Four of the five judges gave it to the Thai via the same score of 30-27, with the fifth one scoring it at 30-28. “We stand proud of the accomplishments of Irish. The future looks very promising for her,” said boxing chief Ricky Vargas. Magno’s three teammates in Nesty Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial are still in contention.

On Saturday, Paalam fights Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi at 10:48 a.m. (Philippine time), before Petecio shoots for the gold-medal round at 12:39 p.m. (Philippine time) against Italy’s Testa Irma.

Marcial, predicted by Association Press to win a gold medal here, tries to assure the Philippines of another bronze medal on Sunday at 11:36 a.m. (Philippine time) against Armenian pro Arman Darchinyan, who he has beaten in the 2018 AIBA World Championships.

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