ROMA 2020 Weightlifting World Cup triple gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and Aiba Women’s World Boxing Championships 2019 gold medalist Nesthy Alcayde Petecio still keep their Olympic hopes alive following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Diaz, who clinched a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, took to Instagram Wednesday, March 25, to express her disappointment that the Tokyo Olympics has been reset, saying, “I left everything on hold in preparation for the Olympics. This includes school, family, and friends but right now we are talking about safety and health of all the athletes, their coaches, and their teams that will participate in the Olympics.”
She said she can’t be selfish to think of all the sacrifices she has done in her Olympic preparations when frontliners are risking their lives to save people who are infected with Covid-19.
Diaz, who hails from Barangay Mampang in Zamboanga City, was also relieved since she has not been able to do weights during the community quarantine.
“(I) have one more year to prepare for the Olympics. One thing I know is that to me and #TeamHD giving up was never in our vocabulary. We are almost there and we can make it through,” Diaz, who also pocketed a gold in the 30th SEA Games 2019, added.
She is still eyeing a spot in the Tokyo Olympics along with Petecio but qualifying tournaments were also cancelled because of the health crisis. Thus, they will have to wait for another Olympic qualifying event to take a shot in the Tokyo quadriennial games.
Petecio, for her part, lost in her Olympic bid in the recently-concluded Asian and Oceanian Olympic Boxing Qualifying in Amman, Jordan.
The Aiba Women’s world champion, who began her amateur boxing career in Davao City, lauded the move of the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo, Japan organizers for thinking about the safety and welfare of everybody.
“Naa lang man ang Olympics diha dili man na mawala pwede lang ma-adjust pero ang kinabuhi isa ra man na. Happy ko nga mas giprotektahan nila ang mga atleta ug mga tao (The Olympics is just there and it can be adjusted while we only live once. I’m happy that they are putting more premium in protecting the athletes and the public),” Petecio, who is still under home quarantine, said.
She also urged Filipinos to be united just like when the country hosted the 30th SEA Games.
Meanwhile, she said since all Olympic qualifiers set this year have been cancelled because of Covid-19, they will have to wait for the next set of qualifiers.
She also said she won’t give up her Olympic dream. “Yes!” she replied when asked if she still intends to chase an Olympic berth following the postponement.