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Paris still on Petecio’s mind

Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines (L) and Lin Yu Ting (R) of Chinese Taipei are seen during the 19th Asian Games boxing women's 54-57Kg Preliminaries Round of 16 match held at the Hangzhou Gymnasium in Hangzhou, China. Final score Lin 4:1 Petecio.

HANGZHOU, China — Despite suffering an early exit in the 19th Asian Games, Nesthy Petecio remains focused on her goal of making it to the Paris Olympics.

The 31-year-old Petecio said she will go hard in training and prepare for the World Qualifying Tournament in a bid to book a return flight to the Summer Games.

Petecio’s bid of returning to the Olympics suffered a major blow when she bowed to Lin Yu-ting of Chinese Taipei in the Round of 16 of the women’s 54-kilogram boxing event late Friday at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Gymnasium here.

It was some sort of revenge for the Taiwanese puncher as Petecio beat her in the Round of 16 on her way to clinching the silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics two years ago.

With her setback in the Asian Games, Petecio’s road to the Olympics gets bumpy as she has to go through the World Qualifying Tournaments in Italy and Thailand in February and May next year, respectively.

“We’re not yet done,” said Petecio after failing to clinch one of the four Olympic slots allotted in the Asian Games.

“We still have the World Championship so we still have time to finetune our strategy. Whatever we’re missing, we’ll work on it. I know my coaches are there to fill it up.”

Despite her setback, Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines chairman Ricky Vargas remains supportive, reassuring Petecio that he will be by her side as she shoots for a ticket bound for Paris.

“I have faith in you, Nesthy. You can do it if you set your mind to returning to the Olympics. You’ve proven that already,” Vargas said in a text message to Petecio.

A grateful Petecio appreciates Vargas’ kind words and vowed to work harder to make it back to the Olympics.

“Thank you so much, sir. Thank you for your unending trust and support,” she replied.

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