Sports

This Is Already the Best Philippine Performance in Olympic History

First Hidilyn bags the first-ever gold, then Nesthy follows up with a guaranteed medal.
IMAGE JEROME ASCAÑO
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The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go down in history as the most extraordinary performance by Filipino athletes. The last few days have been spent on the high of Hidilyn Diaz's historic gold medal win, the first in Philippine history. Her name is already getting written into textbooks as we speak, and so is the Philippine team of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Not only is this the year we won our first gold, it's also the first time in 89 long years that the Philippines achieved a multi-medal win at the Olympics, making this already our best performing Olympic year to date.

Nesthy Petecio bags a medal in her Olympic debut.

Just a few days after Diaz's glorious victory, another Filipina went on stage to secure the Philippines a medal: Nesthy Petecio, a featherweight boxer in the 54-57 kg class, who today beat Colombia to secure the Philippines an Olympic medal. Following her victory, Petecio now qualifies for the semifinals, where she will battle Italy for the prize spot in the final women's boxing match.

If she loses, Petecio will be awarded a bronze medal, the Philippines' first in the Tokyo games. If she wins, she'll bag either silver or gold. Win or lose the match, Petecio and the Philippines will win the night, because by securing any medal, Petecioand Diazhave made the 2020 Tokyo Games the best year for Filipino Olympians.

Philippine team scores first multi-medal win in 89 years.

With Petecio's medal, whether bronze or gold, already in the bag, 2020 marks the Olympic year that the Philippines secured its first multi-medal win in 89 years. The last time the country secured more than one medal in the games was way back in 1932 during the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics when three Filipinos won three bronze medals: Teofilo Yldefonso in swimming, Simeon Toribio in high jump, and Jose Villanueva in boxing.

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No other delegation has ever accomplished such a feat until the 2020 Olympic athletes came and broke the long drought.

Hidilyn Diaz is second Filipino to win more than one Olympic medal.

Another medal record that was broken was again made by Hidilyn Diaz. After winning gold, she became only the second Filipino in history to receive more than one medal in her Olympic run.

The first and only other person to accomplish such a feat was Filipino Olympic swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso who won two bronze medals in the men's 200-meter breaststroke in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics and the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

Are there more to come?

There is more than a week left in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, meaning plenty more opportunities for the Philippines to snag even more medals as boxer Eumir Felix Marcial, gymnast Caloy Yulo, and golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdangan, and Juvic Pagunsan still have a shot at standing on the coveted podium.

But win or lose, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have already been made for all the fans back home.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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