Despite minor issue, Marcial right on target

EUMIR Marcial works with his coach, Ronald Chavez, in preparation for the Paris Olympics. 
EUMIR Marcial works with his coach, Ronald Chavez, in preparation for the Paris Olympics. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF abap

MADRID, Spain -- Almost every time Eumir Marcial lands a solid punch using his right hand while training, it gives the Filipino banger a bit of a problem.

“He says he feels pain on the palm area,” coach Ronald Chavez said on Monday from their training camp in Saarbrücken in Germany.

Apparently, Marcial hurt his hand in a sparring session just before coming over to Europe.

“He said that he struck a very hard spot on the headgear of one of his sparmates,” said Chavez, who also dabbles in strength and conditioning training, skills that he had acquired after finishing two short courses in Italy.

But Chavez swears he is not losing sleep over Marcial’s hand problem.

“No worries. It’s not in the knuckle area,” he added.

Marcial, and a few other fellow fighters and a sprinkling of entries in other sports, is one of the country’s main medal hopefuls in the upcoming Paris Olympics.

But Chavez, who competed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, swears the injury is a minor one and that there is no reason to panic.

Since relocating to Saarbrücken from Metz in France last week, Marcial’s training as well as those of Carlo Paalam and female puncher Hergie Bacyadan have been running smoothly.

Two of the five-member boxing squad -- Nesthy Petecio and Aira Villegas -- are the only ones left in Metz as they await assistance from Manila in the form of male sparring partners.

Chavez said that is the plan for them but as far as their stint in Germany is concerned, he doesn’t have any complaints.

Nothing at all.

“The facilities here are excellent and suited for Olympic training,” the Cebu-born drillmaster said.

So far, the twice-daily workouts of Marcial, bronze medalist in Tokyo 2020 and silver medalist Paalam, and Bacyadan, have been without any issues whatsoever.

Fellow Olympic-bound boxers from Ireland and India were among the early birds in the German camp and the site is expected to buzz even more with the arrival in the next few days of the main bulk of Paris-bound teams.

Last time in Tokyo, boxing also delivered a silver courtesy of Petecio as the sport pulled off a major move in the Summer Games.

In Paris, the message is loud and clear.

Marcial, Paalam and Petecio simply want an upgrade.

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