CARLO Paalam waylaid his opponent, a hometown favorite, on his way to the gold medal round in the flyweight division of men’s boxing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the Kokugikan Arena.
Paalam, a product of a grassroots boxing campaign in Cagayan de Oro City, used a barrage of combinations in eking out a victory against Japanese bet Ryomie Tanaka.
However, the path to the gold medal bout for Eumir Felix Marcial was stopped when he lost to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak.
Although he is still assured of a bronze medal, Marcial lost to the Ukranian in a split decision.
Marcial’s bronze, Nesthy Petecio’s silver and Paalam’s medal, the color of which will be determined on August 7, would bring the country three medals, the most number of medals for the country since it joined the Summer Games in 1924.
Petecio, of Sta. Cruz in Davao del Sur, became the first woman to win a silver medal for the country after losing to a Japanese fighter in the gold medal bout on Tuesday.
She was the second to secure a medal for the country after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz recorded the country’s first gold medal in the Olympics.
Paalam and the Japanese pugilist fought toe-to-toe as they both sustained wounds on their faces with Paalam having a cut on his right eye as a result of an accidental headbutt, while the Japanese sustained a wound on the bridge of his nose as a result of the exchange of jabs.
Paalam, 23, outwitted the Japanese as he used his mighty combinations both to the body and face that resulted in a unanimous decision.
“Yung strategy na ginawa ko, idinaan ko sa bilis. Ginawa ko kung ano talaga ‘yung laro ko. Kailangang pag-isipan mo ‘yung mga galaw mo tsaka tiwala sa sarili. Kaya nga po kami nagte-training, nage-ensayo para po dito,” said Paalam in a statement.
Managing Editor at Mindanao Times
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