‘For family’: Petecio not losing sight of Tokyo goal
FILE – The Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio celebrates after defeating Myanmar’s Oo Nwe Ni to claim the gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games women’s featherweight (57kg) bout. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin Vardeleon
MANILA, Philippines — Olympic hopeful Nesthy Petecio spent much of 2020 with her family in their home province of Davao del Sur as the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex was used as one of the government’s quarantine facilities for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite staying at home, Petecio did what she could to keep in shape and now that she’s back with her team to prepare for the Olympic qualifiers she’s aware that leaving her family behind is a sacrifice she must be willing to make.
Petecio and the rest of the Philippine national boxing team are prepping up for the final qualifiers in June and they’re currently holed up in a confined environment at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba.
“When I left home, I already set my mind up that I will focus on the qualifiers,” said Petecio in Filipino. “My heart and mind were set that I have to make this sacrifice because I’m doing this for my family.”
“It’s not just me, though, even my coaches get emotional when they see their children but once you plan something and you set a goal, you will have to sacrifice. If someone asks me what I have to sacrifice for the Olympics, I’ll say the time that I spend with my family.”
Petecio is seen as one of the Philippines’ best bets for an Olympic spot as she is coming off a golden 2019 that saw her reign atop the featherweight division of the AIBA World Championships in Russia.
She then followed that up with a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games before a home crowd.
Petecio, however, fell in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Asia and Oceania Boxing Qualification Tournament, losing to Japan’s Irie Sana 3-2 in Amman, Jordan.
Nevertheless, Petecio does not want to pressure herself and would rather approach the final qualifications with a clearer mindset.
“There was a huge change in my mindset because I wholeheartedly accepted the pressure during the tournament in Jordan but now I have a more chill mindset,” said Petecio. “I don’t want the pressure to dictate my flow.”
“I learned that already because before I was already thinking of the pressure too much and that threw me off my game so now I’m more relaxed.”
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