Sports

Paalam gives Philippines second shot at gold, Marcial settles for bronze; Bianca slides down to 27th after two rounds, Yuka gets back to even-par 142

TOKYO—Carlo Paalam gave the Philippines a second shot at a gold medal as Eumir Felix Marcial’s Olympic dream settled to a bronze medal finish at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
 
Paalam was an overwhelming winner over Japan’s Ryomie Tanaka in their men’s flyweight semifinals that the Filipino snatched, 5-0, a score that primed him up for Saturday’s final against Great Britain’s Galal Yafai.
 
“‘Yung strategy na ginawa ko, idinaan ko sa bilis. Ginawa ko kung ano talaga ‘yung laro ko. Kailangang pag-isipan mo ‘yung mga galaw mo tsaka tiwala sa sarili. Kaya nga po kami nagte-training, nage-ensayo para po dito,” said Paalam.
 
Using his speed and smarts to the hilt, Paalam turned the head of his Japanese rival into a virtual target practice as he continuously landed 1-2 combinations and darted away from trouble to fashion out the imposing victory, his fourth impressive win these pandemic Olympics.
 
The 23-year-old pride of Cagayan de Oro was a blur for his overmatched Japanese foe, who in the middle of the second round hit Paalam at the back of his head, but the Filipino wisely hung to the Japanese to get his second wind.
 
“Noong second round, natamaan po ako doon. Kita niyo naman sa second round, binatukan ako, kaya hinawakan ko na talaga ‘yung paa niya para makapahinga ng kaunti,” said Paalam, adding the referee may have not seen the illegal strike because of the swift exchanges.
 
Marcial? He faced a stronger and better boxer, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak, to find himself going him with a bronze and not the gold that he hoped to win as he polishes up for a professional career.
 
“Malakas siya na fighter, deserve niyang manalo,” said Marcial of Khyzhniak, who won gold medals at the world (2017) and European (2017 and 2019) championships and looked prime to win gold in these pandemic Olympics.
 
The silver that is assured Paalam is the third medal for the boxing team in these Games, counting the silver of featherweight Nesthy Petecio and the bronze of middleweight Marcial.
 
Meanwhile, the Japanese summer and the immense talent of the 60-player field went harsh on Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso in women’s golf’s second round at the Kasumigaseki Country Club on Thursday.
 
Pagdanganan could only match par on another humid day and was unable to keep up with the scorching pace set by American Nelly Korda.
 
Pagdanganan faded from a joint fifth at the start of the day to a tie for 27th as a host of contenders got their games going.
 
From three down, the 23-year old LPGA campaigner fell a good 11 shots behind new leader Korda, who put together a tournament-best nine-under 62 and open a four-shot lead on a 36-hole total of 129.
 
Saso, on the other hand, made three birdies in her final five holes to score a three-under 68 and get back to even-par 142.(PR)
 
 

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