HANGZHOU, China – Eumir Marcial is on a big mission to earn a return trip to next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.
Marcial moved closer to realizing that goal after knocking out Southeast Asian Games champion Weerapon Jongjoho at the 19th Asian Games on Sunday evening.
The Philippine Olympic bronze medalist knocked Jongjoho down with a booming right hand after a brief exchange on the corner that left the Thai with 14 seconds remaining in the second round.
Dazed by the heavy blow, 22-year-old Jongjoho was sent off the field by the referee, sending Marcial to the semi-finals against Syrian Ahmad Ghousoon at the Hangzhou Gymnasium on Wednesday.
Although Marcial, forced to move up to a heavier division after the 75kg that won him bronze at the Tokyo Olympics was scrapped, is already assured of a bronze medal, the 27-year-old from Zamboanga City wants nothing less than a finals appearance. .
“I had a difficult time because he is tall. When I saw the clock with a minute to go, I gave it everything I had and the result I wanted came true,” said a euphoric Marcial in Filipino.
Only the finalists in the 80kg class in Asia can secure a spot at the Olympic Games.
Marcial will have his hands full against crowd favorite Ghousoon, who bombarded Shabbos Negmatulloev of Tajikistan with powerful shots to the head and body to win 5-0 in their quarter-final.