Two coaches from Bago City in Negros Occidental are behind the silver medal win of boxer Nesthy Petecio in the Tokyo Olympics and of two others who are assured of bronze medals.
Bago City congratulates Petecio, who made history as the first Filipina to win in the Olympics, and her coaches Nolito “Boy” Velasco and Olympian Reynaldo Galido from Bago City, Mayor Nicholas Yulo said Wednesday, August 4.
Yulo said Velasco was also instrumental in the successful Olympic boxing bids of his brothers.
Roel Velasco won a bronze medal in Barcelona in 1992 and Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won a Silver medal in Atlanta in 1996.
Petecio said she had wanted to win the gold in Japan so she could dedicate it to Coach Boy.
“Behind every great athlete is a masterful coach that inspires the athlete to evolve into the strongest performer they can become”, Yulo said, quoting Catherine Engelbert, United States Women’s National Basketball Association commissioner.
Velasco and Galido are also the coaches for boxers Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam who are assured of bronze medals in the Tokyo Olympics, but are still in contention for the gold.
Marcial faces Oleksandr Khyzhniak of Ukraine in the men’s middleweight semifinal for a berth in the gold-medal round at 2:04 p.m. on Thursday, August 5, Philippine time.
Paalam advances to men’s flyweight semifinal round where a win over Ryomei Tanaka of Japan on Thursday, would also elevate him to the gold medal match.
Coach Velasco said he is a product of the boxing program of Bago City that started during the time of then mayor Manuel Torres and has been carried on by its current officials.
He hopes that another boxer from Bago City makes it to the next Olympics.
Petecio’s win in the Olympics is a victory for the Philippines, Velasco said.
Velasco hopes to be able to help Bago City in its grassroots boxing program.
Athletes need dedication and discipline to get to the Olympics, he said.*