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Sparring training excites Magno

Ian Suyu

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IRISH Magno wants to switch her Olympic buildup to a higher gear. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IRISH MAGNO/FB

Irish Magno couldn’t wait to hold sparring sessions in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics.

Magno, the lone Olympic qualifier who is training in the country, said with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) bankrolling bubble training at the Inspire Sports Academy in Laguna, her need for sparring training would finally be fulfilled.

“Sparring is the most important and helpful part of our training, especially when we face stronger opponents inside the ring,” Magno said.

Magno admitted that she has yet to have decent training since punching a slot in the Summer Games in March last year.

With the country going into a nationwide lockdown due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Magno was limited to online training, dealing a major blow to her Olympic preparation.

Other Olympians, meanwhile, are getting ready.

EJ Obiena of athletics is in the thick of training in Italy while Carlos Yulo of gymnastics is doing great in his buildup in Japan.

Another boxer in Eumir Marcial, for his part, was also left in the country, but eventually decided to turn pro where he is now working with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach in Los Angeles.

“Personally, I would like to have as many tuneup matches as possible, but I know it’s not for me to decide,” said Magno, who will join fellow boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Ian Clark Bautista and Charly Suarez in another training camp in Thailand shortly after their bubble stint.

“I know that I have a lot to improve so I am focusing on those and I am trusting my coaches to help me cover those before the Olympics.”

“I am putting my focus on what I am aiming for. I can’t afford to relax.”

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