Ahead Tokyo 2020: POC wants athletes to resume training

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) has urged athletes still vying for places at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to resume training, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The POC has asked the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to let athletes return to training, the Philippine News Agency reports.

“We’re discussing with PSC and IATF to allow those still seeking for the qualifier to train,” POC President Abraham Tolentino told an online press conference.

Among the Filipino athletes still striving to earn a place at the Tokyo Games, which have been postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus, are weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, taekwondo player Pauline Lopez, karateka Junna Tsukii and skateboarder Margielyn Didal.

Only four Filipinos, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno have gained qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.

Tolentino believes that the Olympic qualifiers will resume early next year, giving the Filipino athletes more time to gear up.

“We need to prepare for that,” he said.

Tolentino, also the president of PhilCycling, added that the pandemic had affected the Olympic qualification efforts of mountain biker Ariana Dormitorio and BMX rider Daniel Caluag.

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