By Kristel Satumbaga
The Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio overcame hometown bet Liudmila Vorontsova, 3-2, to capture the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship featherweight gold medal in Ulan-Ude, Russia on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Davao Del Sur native came through with a flurry of punches in the third round to best Vorontsova and surpassing her silver medal finish at the 2014 edition held in Jeju City, South Korea.
The score was a split decision with three judges, Australia (30-27), Korea (30-27) and Ireland (29-28) giving the nod to Petecio, and Japan (30-27) and Argentina (29-28) having it for the Russian.
Petecio’s victory came less than 24 hours after gymnast Carlos Yulo clinched the floor exercise gold medal at the 49th FIG World Artistic Gymnastics.
Prior to her golden feat, Petecio clobbered Karris Artingstall of England, 4-1, in the semifinal. Her earlier victories came at the expense of Sena Irie of Japan, 4-1; Qiao Jieru of China, 3-2; second seed Stanimira Petrova of Bulgaria, 3-2; and Jucielen Romeu of Japan.
Petecio has never won a gold in her career, having settled for bridesmaid finishes in previous international events.
She won silver in the 2011 Jakarta (in bantamweight), 2013 Myanmar and 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games, and in the bantam of the 2015 Wulanchabu Asian Amateur Boxing Championships.
She also bagged a bronze in the bantam class of the 2012 Ulan Baatas Asian Amateur Boxing Championships.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines president Ricky Vargas lauded Petecio’s feat and composure despite the din of the highly partisan crowd.
“Not only because she fought brilliantly but also because she sacrificed so much for this,” he said.
Vargas also gave credit to Petecio’s coaches Boy Velasco and Reynaldo Galido for their mentorship, as well as to the ABAP coaching staff headed by Pat Gaspi and foreign consultant Don Abnett.