We’ve got our first boxing gold medalist at Tokyo 2020, and it’s a hometown fighter.
20-year-old Sena Irie of Japan, a Tokyo native, won a very close decision over Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines to claim the women’s featherweight gold medal — the first-ever women’s featherweight gold medalist in Olympics history, in fact, as the division was just added this year.
Irie and Petecio were close throughout, with two energetic rounds to open the contest ending with one judge having the host country boxer up 20-18, and the other four cards even at 19-19.
Irie’s little flurries in a frankly ragged third round from both competitors sealed the deal for all five judges in the third, giving her a 5:0 result officially, but a bout that was much more closely contested than that might make it seem.
On her way to gold, Irie defeated Yamileth Solorzano of El Salvador, No. 2 seed Khouloud Hlimi of Tunisia, Romania’s Maria Nechita, and in the semifinals, a very close win over Great Britain’s Karris Artingstall.
Petecio, who wins silver, was the first boxer to win in Tokyo, opening the entire competition with a victory over Namibia’s Marcelat Sakobi, and going on to defeat top seed Yu-ting Lin of Chinese Taipei, Jenny Marcela Arias of Colombia, and Italy’s Irma Testa.