Ilongga pugilist asks for Ilonggos’ support as she competes in Tokyo Olympics this month

PHOTO CAPTION: From her early years joining national boxing meets out of her native Iloilo province, Irish Magno has now reached the top of the mountain, representing the Philippines in the apex of all sporting competitions, the Olympic Games, set later this month in Tokyo, Japan. (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of tribune.net.ph)

ILOILO CITY–A lady pugilist who traces her roots to Janiuay, Iloilo, will be among those that will carry the Philippine flag as the local delegation flies to Japan late this month for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Irish Magno, a native of Barangay Tamu-an of the said third district municipality, was among the first Filipino athletes to qualify for the quadrennial sporting event—postponed numerous times due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—after winning the women’s 51-kilogram flyweight division during last year’s Asian & Oceanian Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event held in Amman, Jordan.

The Ilongga boxer first came into the national spotlight when she competed in a national open boxing event in 2008 when she was just 16 years old and a 4th-year high school student. She failed to win in that competition but was still invited to join the national team as coaches saw her limitless potential.

Only four years later, she won her first gold medal in an international competition when she emerged the victor in her weight division in the 2012 Taipei Open in Taiwan.

After that, she represented the country in the 2013, 2015, and 2019 editions of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), winning the silver medal in the women’s flyweight division in her last stint with the Philippine boxing team in the said regional sports meet.

Due to her impressive showing in previous international matches, she represented the country yet again in the Olympic Qualifying Event in Amman, Jordan, where she fought and beat foes from Hong Kong, India, and Tajikistan on her way to the gold medal.

In her Olympic stint later this month, Magno is seeking her countrymen’s support through prayers so that she can again emerge victorious in her first-ever Olympic journey.

Aside from Magno, 18 other Filipino athletes are set to compete in this year’s staging of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The 2020 Olympic Games will take place from July 23 to August 8. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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