James Palicte is among the first-timers to compete in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. So he made it memorable.
The 25-year-old boxer snared the gold medal in the men’s light welterweight division after conquering Nguyan Van Hai of Vietnam via unanimous decision Monday at the PICC Forum.
“Sobrang special talaga,” expressed Palicte. “Iba ang Panginoon talaga. Sobrang saya ko talaga.”
James is the younger brother of Vincent and Alston, who have made a name for themselves in the sport. But he said that such did not bring him any pressure, and that his main goal was just to win.
“Sa akin wala naman,” he said. “Pero gusto ko talaga mag-gold. Motivation ko is ibubuhos ko lahat.”
Palicte dedicated the gold medal to his father, who he said dreamt of seeing them succeed in their chosen field.
“Regalo ko talaga to sa papa ko. Oto talaaga yung pangarap niya para sa’min eh,” said the Bago, Negros-native.
The Philippines has four boxing gold medals so far after Palicte’s victory, following Carlo Paalam, Rogen Ladon, and now five-time SEA Games gold medalist Josie Gabuco.