Carlo Paalam beats Japanese foe, advances to gold medal match in men’s flyweight

By Alyssa Rola, CNN Philippines

Boxer Carlo Paalam is now a win away from giving the Philippines another Olympic gold.

The country’s flyweight bet scored a unanimous decision against Japan’s Ryomei Tanaka during their semifinal event Thursday in Tokyo — a victory that assured him of a silver medal finish.

Paalam led in all the judges’ scorecards, landing clear punches against the hometown bet to clinch the coveted finals seat.

Paalam’s latest feat guaranteed the country of at least two silver medals in the Olympics boxing competition after Nesthy Petecio’s runner-up finish in the women’s featherweight division.

The two join fellow boxer Eumir Marcial and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz as the Filipino athletes who have so far secured podium finishes in the Tokyo Olympics.

Diaz earlier delivered the country’s first Olympic gold, while Marcial bagged the bronze medal in the men’s middleweight division after a split-decision loss against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzniak.

Their performance also translated to the Philippines’ biggest medal haul since it first joined the Summer Games in 1924.

Paalam will square off against Great Britain’s Galal Yafai on Saturday for a shot at the men’s flyweight gold.

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