MANILA, Philippines—Hidilyn Diaz may have gone home but she hopes her cheers could cross the Pacific and reach Nesthy Petecio in her own quest for gold in the Tokyo Olympics.
The Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist took to Facebook to cheer for Petecio after the boxer beat Italy’s Irma Testa in the semifinals of the women’s featherweight tournament.
“Good work Nesthy! We’re extremely proud of you, you’re amazing,” said Diaz in Filipino. “We’ll keep praying for you, just keep on fighting and never give up. Fight Team Philippines! Go for gold, you can do it!”
Congratulations Nesthy Petecio – World Champion ! Ang galing mo. Cheer tayo sa laro ni Nesthy Alcayde Petecio sa Aug 3. Ipagpray natin siya at Ang mga Filipino athletes maglalaro sa Olympics
The 5-foot-2 Petecio, who trailed after the first round, used her speed and grit against the 5-foot-8 Testa in the second and third rounds and came away with the 4-1 decision win.
Petecio will face Japan’s Irie Sena in the final on Tuesday at Kokugikan Arena in hopes of securing the Philippines’ second gold medal in the Olympics.
Diaz captured the country’s first gold medal in the Summer Games when she lifted a total of 224 kilograms in the 55-kilogram division of women’s weightlifting.
“Let’s cheer for Nesthy for her match on August 3. Let’s pray for her and for all the Filipino athletes competing in the Olympics,” wrote Diaz.
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