Nesthy Petecio: Women will soon outdo men in sports

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 4) — Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio said female athletes are already catching up with men and may soon even outperform them, not just in the field of boxing, but in other sports.

In a taped interview with CNN Philippines' New Day aired on Thursday, Petecio said men "must not be complacent" about the growing number of women who are making a name for themselves when it comes to athletic performance.

"Ang masasabi ko lang, mag-ingat-ingat na kayong mga kalalakihan kasi malapit na kayong malamangan ng mga kababaihan," she said. "Kumbaga wag kayong kumpyansa sa mga kababaihan po kasi kaya na namin kayong sabayan."

[Translation: All I can say is, men should be careful because the women may soon outperform them. Do not be overconfident because women like us have definitely caught up.]

Petecio currently ranks second in the women's featherweight division worldwide, next to Taiwanese champion Lin Yu-Ting. She is one of the Philippines' top bets for a spot in the Tokyo Olympics after bringing home the gold from the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Russia last year.

Petecio said she may only know whether or not she qualified for the Olympics on March 15. The International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force will officially announce the names of the qualifiers for the tournament set in July after it was pushed back due to coronavirus restrictions.

Irish Magno, another Filipina boxer, was among the first female athletes in the Philippine team to secure a slot in the Tokyo Olympics after earning her silver medal in the women's flyweight division in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Petecio noted, however, that she will not be too comfortable with her current record even if she secures a slot in the Olympics.

"Kumbaga sa akin po kasi, sa bawat na kompetisyon na pupuntahan ko, sa bawat laro na pupuntahan ko, kumbaga wala na yung record eh," she said. "Kumbaga panibagong record nanaman itong hahabol ko, bagong medal na kukunin ko."

[Translation: In every competition that I join, I don't want to consider my current record. I need to aim for a new record, a new medal.]

To aspiring boxers, Petecio has one advice: Never give up but keep the faith.

Citing her coaches, she said one must go through all the hardships, because once you reach the top, it's a different feeling when you know you've worked hard for what you've just earned.

"So laban lang! Lagi ko nga sinasabi na walang hihinto hanggang walang ginto."

[Translation: So keep on fighting! Like I always say, do not give up until you get the gold.]