Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz minced no words in openly declaring her desire to wear the national colors again in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
”I want to be in Tokyo,” the Olympic silver medalist confidently announced during Wednesday’s (Oct. 5) special tribute to Rio Olympians organized by Sports5 at Resorts World Manila.
The 25-year-old Diaz broke the country’s string of frustrating finishes in the grandest sports gathering on the planet after a surprise second-place performance in the 53kg women’s weightlifting division.
That silver was the first for the Philippines since boxer Mansueto ”Onyok” Velasco captured the same medal color in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
”All I had asked for was a bronze, but God gave me a silver and more,” said Diaz, the first female athlete to win an Olympic medal for the country.
Five of the 13 Olympians attended the affair with taekwondo jin Elaine Alora, swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna, boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez all vowing to show up in the Tokyo Games just like Diaz.
”I would like to thank TV5 for a great coverage of the Rio Olympics and we’re also grateful for the network to host this activity,” said Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr.
”For the first time, all our athletes there in Rio made it by really qualifying in the Olympics,” added Cojuangco. ”We have to congratulate each and every one for a job well done.”
Missing from the activity were Ian Lariba of table tennis, swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi, lifter Nestor Colonia, marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, trackster Eric Cray, long-jumper Marestella Torres-Sunang, golfer Miguel Tabuena and judo’s Kodo Nakano.
”We will continue to support our athletes unt we finally get that gold medal in the Olympics,” said TV5 president Chot Reyes, who announced to cover the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Cojuangco has promised two gold medals for the country in the next Olympics. Inquirer.net