Carlos Yulo, Nesthy Petecio victories a call for financial support, breaking stereotypes

October 15, 2019 - 1:40 PM
Carlos Yulo
Gold medalist Philippines' Carlos Edriel Yulo during the medals ceremony. (Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay)

Nesthy Petecio and Carlos Yulo became world championships in women’s boxing and men’s gymnastics competitions respectively within the same 24 hours.

Following the achievements, some Filipino fans urged the government and other Filipinos to provide enough support to all athletes regardless if they win or not.

Yulo made history when he won the country’s first gold medal at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships held at the Hans Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany on October 13.

He will be competing in the much-anticipated Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Hours later, Petecio also bagged gold at the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in the featherweight division in Ude, Russia.

She will be competing in the Southeast Asian Games hosted in the Philippines later this year.

A Twitter user hoped that such feats would end the gender stereotypes that come with sports in the Philippines.

“Extremely happy and proud of him and his achievement, but it’s sad that this also highlights the extreme hypocrisy in our country both in toxic masculinity and in the support of our quote-unquote lesser sports teams and athletes,” user @maiactndg said.

Twitter user Mikhail Quijano concurred that Petecio’s and Yulo’s wins were a huge blow on sexism in Philippine sports.

“I grew up in a time when kids were usually told that doing splits and backbends was effeminate and gymnastics is a ‘girl sport’ so I’m truly f****ng ecstatic that a Filipino boy won gold in gymnastics and a Filipino girl won gold in boxing,” he said.

Award-winning director Joey Javier Reyes noted that Filipinos should foster more athletes, scientists and artists rather than to debate on politics and other “partisan interests.”

“If only this country gave more importance and support to athletes, scientists and artists rather than the self-preservation of political dynasties and partisan interests, perhaps we can hold our heads up higher as Filipinos,” he said on Twitter.

Yulo, a 19-year-old Manila resident, scored 15.300 with a 6.500 difficulty level and defeated Israeli Artem Dolgopyat who garnered 15.200 score and 6.400 difficulty level.

He also toppled former world champion Chinese Xiao Routeng from the title.

Petecio, a Davao city native, won against Russian bet Liudmila Vorontsova with nods from three of the five judges of the event.

In 2015, Petecio won silver medals in the Asian Boxing Championships in China and the World Boxing Championships in Korea.

Supporting Filipino athletes

Support for the sports, sciences and arts, particularly of the financial type, is still an issue in the country despite the recognition Filipino contenders have received overseas.

Champion weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz was among the most vocal about the problem among Filipino athletes.

In 2018, she wrote a cryptic poem before she won the first gold medal for the country in the 18th Asian Games and shared it on Twitter.

Some people inferred that she was referencing to the lack of support she got and the criticisms she received.

Early in June this year, Diaz made a bolder move to call for sponsorship from private companies to finance her bout in the Tokyo Olympics.

“Is it okay to ask sponsorship sa mga private companies towards Tokyo 2020? Hirap na hirap na ako, I need financial support,” Diaz shared on Instagram.

Other Filipinos who have also shared not receiving any financial allowance from the government include Olympian figure skater Michael Martinez and members of the Philippine Paralympic swimming team.