A second gold medal for the Philippines could now be within reach.
Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio bested Irma Testa of Italy via split decision, 4-1, in the semifinals of the women's featherweight division of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics' boxing tournament Saturday at the Kokugikan Arena.
Against a much taller foe, Petecio initially struggled with Testa's reach as the Italian secured the first round, 10-9, for all five judges.
The Filipina fighter then became more aggressive in the second round to score a 10-9 of her own.
It all came down to the third round, where Petecio got the nod from Judges 1 to 4, while one judge gave the round to Testa.
That was more than enough to assure Petecio of a silver medal and move into the gold medal match.
She will next face the winner of the bout between Sena Irie of host Japan and Karriss Artingstall of Great Britain in the gold medal match.
In the quarterfinals round, Petecio outhustled Yeni Marcela Arias Castaneda of Colombia via a unanimous decision to earn a seat in the semis and assured herself of at least a bronze medal.
Aside from Petecio, two other Filipino fighters are still in contention. Both Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam have made their way to the quarterfinals of their respective divisions.
Earlier in the day, Paalam triumphed in his men's flyweight Round of 16 match against Algerian Mohamed Flissi, a three-time Olympian. The Filipino boxer was impressive, winning every round on all of the judges' scorecards, for a unanimous decision victory.
With the result, Paalam advanced to the quarterfinal round of the tournament. A win in the quarterfinals would assure him of at least a bronze medal.
Also on Saturday, Filipino pole vaulter EJ Obiena secured qualification into the finals of the men's pole vault event.
Obiena breezed through the 5.50m and 5.65m before encountering some trouble in the 5.75m round.
He failed in his first two attempts before successfully clearing 5.75m on his third and final attempt to ensure his place among the Top 12 advancing to the medal round.
Both Obiena's men's pole vault finals and Petecio's women's featherweight boxing finals are scheduled for August 3.
—Bea Micaller/JMB, GMA News