WINNING the country’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, Japan next year remains as the top priority for boxing champion Irish Magno.
Pandemic or no pandemic, Magno believes she has a very good chance of making it.
“That’s really my dream of a lifetime. Gagawin ko ang lahat para manalo sa Olympics at makapagbigay ng karangalan sa ating bansa,” said Magno during her special appearance in the 18th
“Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom last Thursday.
The 29-year-old pride of Janiuay, Iloilo is even willing to take the road less travelled to reach her dream destination.
“Lahat naman ng kailangang gawin, lahat ng kailangang training ginagawa namin ngayon sa tulong ng aming mga coaches, like Coach Boy Velasco,” added Magno, who became the second boxer and fourth Filipino to book a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics after fellow boxer Eumir Felix Marcial, gymnast Caloy Yulo and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
Asked about her probable opponent for the gold medal in the Olympics, Magno said her category is filled with very good fighters.
One of these fighter is Mary Kom of India.
“Madami talagang magagaling sa category ko. Hindi ko alam yun pangalan, pero yun China, malakas. Pati India. Sila ang pinaghahandaan ko,” said Magno, who punched her way to the Olympics with a unanimous decision victory over Sumaiya Qosimova of Tajikistan in their boxoff in the Asia Oceania Olympic boxing qualifier in Amman, Jordan last March
“Yung Vietnam malakas din pero hindi pa yata nag-qualify. Yun ibang nanalo sa qualifying sa Jordan, sila din ang mga possible na makakalaban ko. Unti-unti pinag-aaralan ko na ang mga galaw nila kahit wala po ang mga coaches sa tabi ko. Kahit ako lang, pinag-aaralan ko sila.”
Magno admitted the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which forced most sports to shut down for almost eight months now, slowed down her preparations for the Olympics a little bit.
“Alam naman natin ang Olympics, iba talaga. Hindi siya basta-basta na labanan. Ibang level na ito. Kaya nun simula parang pinang-hihinaan ako ng loob na kulang ako sa ensayo,” explained Magno, who left training camp in Baguio City and returned to her home province in Iloilo last August due to the pandemic.
But Magno, who is now on her 12th year as a member of the national team, claimed virtual training twice a day with her national team coaches continued.
“Ngayon tuloy pa rin po yung pag-eensayo. May online training kami kaya unti-unti nang nababawasan yung kaba at lungkot na naramndaman ko sa preparations,” added Magno.
“Pag morning, may ibinibigay si Coach Boy (Velasco) sa akin na training. It’s more on endurance. At pag may time ako, minsan pumupunta ako ng gym para magbuhat.”
“Kapag may go-signal na pwede na kaming bumalik sa Manila, balik na uli kami para magkasama-sama na uli with our coaches sa training. Iba kasi talaga kapag nandiyan sila na nagtuturo sa amin.”
The weekly public service program is sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).