Philippines, 18 May 2021
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SPORTS SHORTS 105: WITH FOUR TOKYO OLYMPIC BOXERS, PH HAS BIGGER CHANCE OF THE ELUSIVE GOLD


PhilBoxing.com




The Philippines will be sending four qualified boxers to the Tokyo Olympics from July 23 to August 8 this year. The four boxers will try to end the gold medal drought since the Philippines first participated in the Summer Games in 1924.

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The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) is confident that the country’s search for its first Olympic gold medal will finally end.

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Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial qualified for the Tokyo Games by virtue of their wins in the Asia Oceania Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan, last year while Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam got the Olympic berth thru their rankings in Asia.

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The Philippines will have bigger chance this year with four boxers. During the 2016 Rio Olympics, it sent only two boxers. Rogen Ladon and Asian Games runner-up Charly Suarez claimed their Olympic slots during the 2016 Asia & Oceania Qualification Tournament in Qian'an, China.

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Suarez failed to advance to the next round of the men's lightweight division, losing to Joseph Cordina of Great Britain in his opening bout via split decision, with judges scoring 2–1.

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Ladon drew a bye in the round of 32 and in the next round lost to Yuberjen Martinez of Colombia, via unanimous decision, with all judges scoring 2–1, in favor of Martinez. Ladon suffered a hamstring injury because of the punches connected on him by his opponent.

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In spite of the pandemic that threatened the world and sports activities were stopped, the four Filipino combatants continued training.

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“We cannot lower our projections, we are aiming no less than the top plum,” said ABAP secretary general Ed Picson. “With four qualifiers, we are going for optimal performance in the Olympics.”

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“Everybody is pulling together for our boxers to be in their optimal condition when they go to the Olympics. We are aiming for the gold. There should be no letup, they understand the urgency of the situation and everybody is going in the same direction,” said Picson as quoted by Inquirer Sports.

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ABAP has formed a training team that will provide the four Olympians in their preparations, in addition to the regular coaches, it includes a strength and conditioning expert, nutritionist and psychologist.

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“It’s a team effort. The coaches will prepare them physically, strategically and tactically, while the rest is up to the boxers,” said Picson. “We’re going to take advantage of the best preparation available despite the unfortunate situation.”

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Marcial requested to have a coach available with him in the United States, which ABAP consented. But the pandemic is making it difficult for the coach to travel. The application of the US visa of the coach could take time according to Picson due to the current quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila where the US Embassy is situated.

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With his request still pending, Picson suggested in to Marcial for him to join the other national boxers in Thailand. “There is no dearth of sparring partners in Thailand in his weight class. We are trying to convince him to join the team and train together for the Olympics,” said Picson.

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The Filipino boxers will end their Thailand training a week before the Asian championships in New Delhi, India, scheduled on May 21. Picson does not discount the possibility that the Olympians might not go back home to the Philippines and directly travel to Tokyo for the Summer Games on July 23 to August 8.

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Brooklyn Nets frontcourt player and 15-year NBA veteran LaMarcus Aldridge announced today that he is retiring from the NBA. In a Twitter post, Aldridge wrote that he was retiring because in the last game he played, he was suffering an irregular heartbeat.

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“My last game, I played while dealing with an irregular heartbeat. Later on that night, my rhythm got even worse which really worried me even more,” Aldridge wrote. “The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital and getting me checked out.

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“Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was till one of the scariest things I’ve experienced. With that being said, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA. For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now it is time to put my health and family first.”

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Nets GM Sean Marks issued a statement: “The Nets organization fully supports LaMarcus’ decision, and while we value what he has brought to our team during his short time in Brooklyn, his health and well being are far more important than the game of basketball.

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"We know this was not an easy decision for him, but after careful consideration and consultation with numerous medical experts, he has made the best decision for him, his family and for his life after basketball.”

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Aldridge played in five games with the New Jersey Nets, the last was a 126-101 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10. The seven-time NBA All-Star averaged 12.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.6 apg and 2.2 bpg with the Nets.

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Boxing has been included in every Olympic Games since its introduction at the 1904 Summer Olympics, except for the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, because Swedish law banned the sport at the time.

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The 2008 Olympics were the last games with male only boxers contesting. Starting the 2012 Summer Olympics, women competes already in boxing as part of the program.

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The Top Ten Nations in Olympic Boxing (1904-2016)
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States (USA) 50-24-40-114
2 Cuba (CUB) 37-19-17-73
3 Great Britain (GBR) 18-13-25-56
4 Italy (ITA) 15-15-17-47
5 Soviet Union (URS) 14-19-18-51
6 Russia (RUS) 10-5-15-30
7 Hungary (HUN) 10-2-8-20
8 Poland (POL) 8-9-26-43
9 Argentina (ARG) 7-7-10-24
10 Kazakhstan (KAZ) 7-7-8-22

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The Philippines is tied with Turkey at No. 46 with 0-2-3-5. Thailand is No. 16 with 4-4-6-14. India is No. 64 with only two bronze medals.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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