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Paalam guns for Olympic gold as Marcial settles for bronze

05 August 2021

By The SUN 

Paalam kneels in ecstacy after the judges' unanimous decision was announced

The day has seen more bounty for the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics after one of its prized boxers, Carlo Paalam, moved closer to winning a gold medal, while another, Eumir Marcial, had to settle for bronze after a heartbreaking loss in the quarter-finals.

Paalam, 23, is now guaranteed of a silver at least after winning by a unanimous decision against hometown bet Ryomei Tanaka in the men’s flyweight semi-finals.


All five judges scored in Paalam’s favor in the bout held earlier today. Four had a uniform score card of 30-27 while one scored it 29-28, all in favor of Paalam.

After the verdict was announced, Paalam knelt and cried, then embraced and kissed his Japanese opponent on the forehead.

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Paalam, a native of Talakag, Bukidnon, is now set for a Saturday showdown for the gold against Galal Yafai of Great Britain.

His coach, Elmer Pamisa, has told reporters he is confident Paalam could win the gold.

“It’s not over yet but we’re confident the well-conditioned Carlo will bring it on in the finals, and bring home our first Olympic gold medal in boxing,” Pamisa said.


If Paalam continues his winning streak, he could deliver the Philippines’ second gold medal in the Olympics after Hidilyn Diaz’s historic win in weightlifting on Jul 26.

Marcial gave it his best shot, but still lost in a split vote

But just hours later, another boxer, Eumir Marcial, had to settle for the bronze after a losing by a split decision to his Ukrainian rival Oleksandr Khyzniak in the men’s middleweight semifinals.

The European champion who has not lost a match in five years, got the nod of three judges, while two voted in favor of Marcial: 29-28, 30-27, 28-29, 29-28, 28-29.


The match was marked by a flurry of punches from both boxers. The Ukrainian came out aggressive in the first round but the 25-year-old Filipino held his own.

By the first and second round Marcial won the nod of three of the judges by the slimmest of margins, but began to lose steam in the third. The judges ultimately gave Khyzhniak the crucial edge to win the bout.

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The Philippines is now sure to win an unprecedented four medals from the Olympics: Diaz’s gold, silver from another boxer, Nesthy Petecio, and Marcial’s bronze. Win or lose, Paalam is bound to contribute to the country's haul.

The country's best performance to date since the modern Olympics was first held in 1924 were the three bronze medals it won in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. 

Including Petecio's hard-won silver, the country has garnered a total of four silvers so far in various years. One in  Tokyo in 1964, a second in Atlanta (1996), and the third in Rio de Janeiro (2016).



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