PSC’s aid for Olympic hopefuls continues

April will see at least two national teams in different international meets in their pursuit for a shot at an Olympic slot and a gold.

The weightlifting team, led by 2016 Summer Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, left for Tashkent, Uzbekistan to participate in the Asian Weightlifting Championships, an Olympic qualifying event.

The PSC backed the national weightlifters with over P4.9 million pesos, covering airfare, hotel accommodation, allowances, and other travel expenses from April 11 to 25.  This includes support of almost P1 million for Diaz and her personal team composed of Chinese weightlifting coach Kaiwen Gao and strength and conditioning coach Julius Irvin Naranjo for this qualifying competition alone. 

PSC chairman William Ramirez said the agency may be going through some difficulties in resources given the crisis, but its priorities are clear adding that “it was never a question of supporting them or not because we will, as much as we can.”

Diaz is joined by eight Filipino weightlifting hopefuls in the Asian tilt. They are 2020 IWF Online Youth World Cup gold medalist Vanessa Sarno, Roma World Cup podium finisher John Fabuar Ceniza, 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Kristel Macrohon, Elreen Ann Ando, Mary Flor Diaz, Margaret Colonia, John Dexter Tabique, and Elien Rose Perez. 

The said tournament will complete the six Olympics qualifying events required for Diaz to formally seal her Tokyo Olympics berth and become the seventh Philippine qualifier to the games.

The triathlon team will also get nearly a million in financial assistance for their participation to the 2021 Asia Triathlon Championships in Hatsukaichi, Japan from April 23-25.

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