Carlo Paalam delivers Philippines’ second silver medal in Tokyo

caption: Carlo Paalam of the Philippines in action against Galal Yafai of Britain REUTERS/Leah Millis

Boxer Carlo Paalam claimed the Philippines’ second silver medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games, after finishing runner-up in the men’s flyweight division on Saturday.

Mr. Paalam, 23, lost to Great Britain’s Galal Yafai by split decision, 4-1, in the gold medal match held at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

It was the second silver medal for the Philippines in this Olympic Games. Fellow boxer Nesthy A. Petecio won a silver medal in the women’s featherweight division.

Mr. Yafai, a veteran Olympic campaigner, took the fight early to Mr. Paalam, crowding the latter and scoring a knockdown in the middle of the first round.

But Mr. Paalam, after being given a standing eight count, ended the round strong after landing solid shots of his own.

In the next two rounds, the Philippine bet competed on better footing with authoritative shots connecting to the body and head but Mr. Yafai still managed to keep the Filipino from making significant headway.

Four judges scored the fight, 29-28, for Mr. Yafai while one went with Mr. Paalam, 29-28.

Mr. Paalam’s silver medal is the fourth for Philippine boxing in the Olympics to date, following those won by Anthony Villanueva (1964), Mansueto Velasco (1996) and Ms. Petecio.

On his way to the gold medal match, Mr. Paalam defeated Ireland’s Brendan Irvine in the Round of 32, Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi (round of 16), Rio Olympics champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan (quarterfinals), and hometown bet Ryomie Tanaka (semifinals).

For his silver, he is set to receive at least P17 million of cash incentives from both the government under the incentives act, and private sector pledges.

Mr. Paalam and Ms. Petecio’s silver medals added to the Philippine team’s best ever Olympic medal haul. Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the country’s first ever gold medal, while boxer Eumir Marcial secured a bronze medal.

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