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Advantages boxing Olympic qualifier Eumir Marcial must maintain


PhilBoxing.com




For being ranked the second best amateur middleweight in the world, Filipino Olympic qualifier Eumir Marcial is still the brightest hope of quenching the country’s long, 76-year thirst for a gold medal in the quadrennial conclave in the XXII Games of the Olympiad next year in Tokyo.

A silver medalist in the last AIBA (International Amateur Boxing Association) World Men’s Championships and a gold medal winner in the 2019 Olympic Qualifier last March, the 24-year-old Zamboangueño is presently ranked next only to Gleb Bakshi of Russia in the world ranking in the 175-pound weight class.

And ahead of Arlen Lopez of Cuba, who occupies third; Olexandr Kishinyak of Uzbekistan, fourth; and fellow Central Asian Tursynbal Kulakhmet of Kazakhstan; fifth.

Which, his coaches --Barcelona Olympians Ronald Chavez and Roel Velasco – consider a huge advantage in the drawing of lots for the Olympic matches, especially in deciding who among the competitors draw bye in the opening rounds, including a few more incentives given to highest ranked campaigners.

“And with not quite a few qualifiers not expected to make it to the Olympic site, particularly from countries with high cases of Covid-19 victims, Eumir, indeed, will have a better chance of advancing to the medal rounds than his lowly-ranked peers,” Chavez and Velasco chorused in an interview last Sunday.

“Alam na naman natin na napakalaki ng advantage kapag mataas ang seeding mo sa pag-decide ng mga laban sa opening rounds ng Olympics,” Chavez explained. “Nangyayari nga na hindi ka pa lumalaban, nasa quaterfinal round ka na or semifinal round.

“That’s the beauty of being ranked high,” Velasco, proud owner of a bronze medal from the 1992 Barcelona Games and elder brother of Atlanta Olympics silver medal winner medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, butted in.

“Pag mababa ang ranggo ng isang boksingegro, mas marami ang nagiging laban kaya pagdating sa medal rounds, kapos na," Velasco, noted. “Pag mataas ang rank, chances are maraming bye. At kapag dumating sa medal bouts, presko at malakas pa.”

The same applies to Nesthy Petecio, AIBA’s featherweight women’s division titlist, according to head coach Boy Velasco, the eldest of the Velasco boxing brothers.

“Being the champion in her category, Nesthy. I hope, won’t be rated lower than third. Baka top-seed pa nga siya,” coach Boy said of his ward, who has yet to survive an Olympic qualifying competition after failing in her first try, also last March in Amman, Jordan.

“Medyo minalas lang si Nesthy nung first try niya, pero babawi yan. Baka mag-champion pa sa kanyang division para maka-siguro ng top-seeding,” coach Boy said rather excitedly.

“No matter what happens from today until the Olympics in July-August 2021, the ranking earned by Eumir. Hindi na mawawala,” Chavez assured.

“What he needs, of course, is proper hard training, which we have been trying to provide the past two months or so since last June,” he said.

“Due to the present health situation, nasa on-line training pa rin kami. But at least may supervision pa ng coaching staff unlike before na talagang halos walang activity si Eumir,” he said.

“Monday to Friday pa lang ang ensayo, tuwing hapon,” he quipped. We hope, though, that by next week, hanggang Saturday na. But, as we have been saying, mas maganda kung sa isang training venue na kami mag-e-ensayo.”

Iba kasi talaga ang face-to-face ang supevision ng training. Masasabi namin agad ang mali. Sa zoom kasi, we still have to wait a day or two para ma-correct and dapat ma-correct,” he stressed.

“Ang problema pa, malimit walang signqal ang cellphone, or walang internet,” Roel lamented. “Sana mabigyan na kami ng permanent training venue. Not only for Eumir but pati na sa iba pang boxer natin na still seeking for Olympic slots.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea of The Manila Times.


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