Home Sports Carlo Paalam one win away from Paris Olympics berth

Carlo Paalam one win away from Paris Olympics berth


Carlo Paalam Paris Olympics

FILE–The Philippines’ Carlo Paalam and Britain’s Galal Yafai fight during their men’s fly (48-52kg) boxing final bout during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 7, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP)

BANGKOK—Carlo Paalam has reached the doorstep of the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Paalam can finally enter the global quadrennial Summer Games anew with one more victorious fight after defeating Feliz Jose Luis delos Santos, 5-0, in the men’s 57kg division at the ongoing World Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament.

“One more. It will be difficult, but I’m motivated to get it,” said Paalam in Filipino after kissing her wife and 11-month-old baby girl, his lucky ritual after every win, at the stands of the Indoor Stadium Huamark here.

READ: Decisive wins put Carlo Paalam, Bacyadan closer to Paris Olympics

The Tokyo Olympic silver medalist has already won four bouts and should get past India’s Sachin Sachin in the semifinal late Saturday evening to secure an Olympic berth at the French capital in July.

Paalam will not enter the ring blind against Sachin, who escaped with a split decision opposite Samuel Kistohurry of France in the other quarterfinal bout.

“Carlo already sparred with him (Sachin) when we were in India. We’ve studied him very well,” said coach Elmer Pamisa.

According to Pamisa, Paalam’s longtime coach from Cagayan de Oro City, a defeat won’t entirely close the door on his ward, who can still figure in a box-off against the loser of the other semifinal pairing on Sunday for the final Olympic spot.

READ: Carlo Paalam looks to sustain strong start in Bangkok

Only three slots are available in Paalam’s division with the finalists already assured.

With three Filipino boxers—Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio and Aira Villegas—already booked in Paris, Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines chairman Ricky Vargas will be more delighted to have Paalam and Hergie Bacyadan as qualifiers.

“The more boxers we have in Paris, the merrier,” said Vargas, who cheered for Paalam at the stands along with Abap secretary general Marcus Manalo, coach Rey Galido, Petecio and Villegas.

Bacyadan climbs the ring on Saturday versus 19-year-old Veronika Nakota of Hungary in the women’s 75kg division with a victory pushing the power-punching boxer from Kalinga one triumph away from a Paris trip.

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