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Two Cordilleran Qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Two athletes from the Cordilleras qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

 |  3 min read

Two Cordilleran among Filipino athletes representing the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Two Cordilleran among Filipino athletes representing the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Philippines sent 13 athletes to represent the country where only one athlete won a medal: Hidilyn Diaz who won a silver in weight lifting.

At this time, the country hopes to send nearly 20 Filipino athletes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games scheduled to go from July 23 - August 8, 2021. Among these brave athletes were two from the Cordilleras.

Nesthy Petecio (Women's Boxing)

Nesthy Alcayde Petecio (born 11 April 1992) is a Filipina boxer whose claim to success was winning a gold medal at the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships.

Nesthy Petecio to represent the Philippines in boxing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Nesthy Petecio to represent the Philippines in boxing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Nesthy Petecio was born to Teodoro and Prescilla Petecio. Her father Teodoro was a farmer while her mother Prescilla is a housewife.

Nesthy first took up boxing at age 7. She was taught by her father at their home in Tuban. Her family later moved to Davao City when her father got a job at Illuminada Farms.

She took up the sport so that she can support her family.

Petecio was able to join the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by "virtue of their highest standing in their respective weight categories," according to the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force.

University of Baguio's Nesthy Petecio displayed her championship pedigree and hacked out a decisive win over Myanmar's Oo Nwe Ni to capture the women's boxing featherweight gold medal of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Petecio is set to participate in the woman's featherweight class (57 kg).

Kurt Barbosa (Taekwondo)

Filipino athlete Kurt Barbosa, a native of Bangued, Abra, secured a ticket to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in Taekwondo.

He is the first Filipino taekwondo athlete to qualify since Tshomlee Go who competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Cordilleran Taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa clinches Tokyo 2020 Olympic spot
Cordilleran Taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa clinches Tokyo 2020 Olympic spot

Barbosa qualified for the Olympics through a top-two finish, by besting Jordanian athlete Zaid Alhalawani despite trailing behind his opponent 12 seconds before the end of their match in the men's -58kg semifinals division at the 2021 Asian Taekwondo Olympic Qualification tournament in Amman, Jordan.

The Abranean was scouted for the Philippine national team during his participation in the Philippine National Games where he represented his home province and became part of the Philippine Taekwondo Association's grassroots program. Barbosa became part of the national team in 2019 and was placed under the tutelage of coach Carlos Padilla.

He participated in the 2019 World Taekwondo Championships in the men's fin weight category, although he failed to advance from the Round of 64 after his Thai opponent Ramnarong Sawekwiharee eliminated him from the tournament.

Barbosa, 20, competed at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which was hosted at home in the Philippines. He clinched a gold medal for the host delegation in taekwondo by besting the men's -54 kg category.

Other Filipino athletes qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Here are some of the other Filipino athletes who have excelled in their respective sports and now are going to represent the country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

  • Hidilyn Diaz - Weightlifting
  • Ernest Obiena - Pole Vault
  • Nesthy Petecio - Boxing
  • Carlo Paalam - Boxing
  • John Obiena - Pole Vault
  • Carlos Yulo - Gymnastics
  • Eurmir Marcial - Boxing
  • Irish Magno - Boxing
  • Cris Nievarez - Rowing


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