Marcial bags bronze, Paalam to compete for gold in Tokyo Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxers are making history as they add to the country's medal haul in the Tokyo Olympics.

On Thursday, Filipinos tuned in to watch Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam as they battled it out in their respective bouts. 

Marcial bags bronze, Paalam to compete for gold in Tokyo Olympics
Eumir Marcial (left) and Carlo Paalam in blue boxing jerseys. Photo credit: One Sports/ Paolo del Rosario

Marcial was fighting to earn a slot in the finals of the men's middleweight. Unfortunately, he lost to Ukrainian Oleksandr Khyzhniak via a split decision during the semifinals. Marcial settled for a bronze medal.

Khyzhniak is one challenging foe as he has been undefeated since October 2016 and is now on his winning streak of 62 with Marcial's loss. The European champion has beaten Marcial twice in a span of two years.

After his fight, Marcial admitted he was dreaming of the gold medal but reflected that maybe God had some other plans for him. Nevertheless, he is still bent on taking another chance.

Marcial said, "First thought was maybe God has something else planned for me. This loss will help me become stronger and improve. It's very painful because this (gold) is what I was really aiming for ever since I was a child. I always wanted to make it to the Olympics and win a gold."

"If I'm given a chance to represent again in the Olympics, I'll grab the opportunity because it's still my dream to win the gold," he added.

Marcial’s bronze medal is an addition to the boxing team’s second medal in Tokyo after Nesthy Petecio’s silver.

Meanwhile, Paalam still has a chance to follow the historic feat of Hidilyn Diaz and bag an Olympic gold medal. Also on Thursday, Paalam won against Japan's Ryomei Tanaka in the men’s flyweight semifinal via unanimous decision, 5-0. With his victory, the Filipino boxer is now assured of a silver medal.

Paalam revealed that he felt that Tanaka was looking for a knockout win, so he had to play smart to defeat him.

Paalam's final bout will be against Great Britain’s Galal Yafai on Saturday, August 7, at 1:00 p.m.

As he tries to make Olympic history, Paalam who grew up from being a scavenger asks for prayers. "I’m asking for prayers again from my fellow Filipinos. I will do my best because my opponent is really strong. I just have to trust myself and I hope the Lord gives it to us," he said.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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