OLYMPIC MEDALISTS PETECIO, MARCIAL TO LEAD THE PACK OF PH DELEGATION IN 31ST SEA GAMES
Tokyo Olympics silver medal winner Nesthy Petecio and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial will banner the country’s 11-man delegation to claim a title in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
The regional biennial competition will kick off in May in Hanoi, Vietnam and will determine the Paris 2024 dreams of various athletes.
Petecio and Marcial, who became instant millionaires after bagging Olympic medals and bringing honor to the country in Tokyo Olympics, are set to compete in the women’s 57 kg and men’s 75 kg division in SEAG, respectively.
They will be joined by Olympic silver medalist Carlo Paalam, who entered in the men’s 52 kg; but, the 28-year-old Rogen Ladon who started boxing in 2007 will be competing for the same spot.
It will be a challenge for both as Paalam and Ladon won gold medals in 2019 under the 52 kg and 49 kg. category, respectively; the final list will be based on their performances as they compete in the coming Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament on April 1-10 in Phuket, Thailand.
Meanwhile, the list is completed by Marjon Pianar (69 kg) and Wendell Dagle (91 kg), defending women’s 48 kg gold medalist Josie Gabuco, Olympian Irish Magno who will get another chance at the gold in the 51 kg, Riza Pasuit (60 kg) and Hergie Bacyadan (75 kg).
For the rest, Ian Clark Bautista and Mario Fernandez are both listed in the bantamweight class, while James Palicte and John Paul Panuayan are in the light-welterweight division.
With a lot of former medalists in the team, Team Philippines chef de mission Ramon Fernandez said in an interview during the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Hour aired by Radyo Pilipinas 2, that he is hoping for the country to be at the top 3 in the SEAG.
“Most of the medalists when we won the overall title [in the 2019 SEA Games] will be joining us, so we’re hoping to land in the top 3 [among 11 countries],’’ said Fernandez.