TOKYO, Aug 7 (AFP): Britain's Galal Yafai defeated Carlo Paalam to win the flyweight Olympic title on Saturday, denying the Philippines a first boxing gold medal in the country's history.
On the other hand, despite their best medal haul for 101 years – six in all – the British contingent from the noble art had not managed to turn any of their precious metals into gold.
But Yafai, a dynamic and waspish competitor from a famous fighting family, hit the podium summit with a superb display.
The 28-year-old Yafai, a former factory worker, won on split points in an enthralling contest to earn Britain's first boxing gold in Tokyo, one that will be cherred by the entire contingent.
Yafai, cheered on from the stands by his British teammates -- many of them with the country's flag draped over their shoulders -- had the Filipino down in the first round of the scheduled three after an incisive three-punch combination.
Britain, who like the Philippines have a proud boxing history, have now won one gold, two silvers and two bronze in the sport in the Japanese capital.
Despite the disappointment for 23-year-old Paalam, the Philippines have enjoyed a breakthrough fortnight in boxing at the Games.
Nesthy Petecio won women's featherweight silver and Eumir Marcial took men's middleweight bronze.