Nesthy Petecio pulled through in the end to stun no. 1 seed Lin Yu-ting, 3-2, to barge to the women’s featherweight quarterfinals of the boxing competitions of the Tokyo Olympics, Monday at the Kokugikan Arena.
Unlike in her first bout against Marcelat Sakobi that saw her dominate her way to a 5-0 triumph two days ago, the Filipina boxer had to unload a late flurry to earn the split decision victory over the much taller Taiwanese.
Petecio actually owned the opening round, coming out of the gates with much aggression that trumped her foe’s obvious size advantage. She even landed a solid right seconds into the match, and then a straight left late.
Lin, however, would find her groove in the next round, landing clear shots as the 5-foot-8 fighter finally utilized her lengthy reach. She went on to earn the judges’ nod by the round’s end, setting up the thrilling finish.
Lin, who was making her Olympics debut, pulled off combinations early in the deciding chapter. But Petecio came back strong with a pair of strong rights, and she rode that wave of momentum until the final bell.
“Sinabi ni coach Boy (Velasco) sa akin na lamang na tayo, ingatan mo yung lamang natin,” said Petecio.
It was undeniably one of the more exciting matches thus far in the Games, for it featured former AIBA world champs — Petecio ruled the featherweight division in 2019, while Lin owned the bantamweight crown the year prior.
Petecio will face Yeni Marcela Arias Castaneda of Colombia in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, July 28, at 10:00 a.m.
Arias Castaneda, who qualified straight into the Round of 16, beat Bulgarian counterpart Stanimira Petrova through a split decision as well.