Hidilyn Diaz unfazed despite Olympic return in limbo
MANILA, Philippines — Hidilyn Diaz’s return to the Olympics has been put in jeopardy due to a travel ban on Asians and Europeans imposed by Colombia, where the Filipino is set to compete in a weightlifting qualifiers beginning March 19, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The predicament left Diaz, the silver medalist in the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games in 2016, one shy of an Olympic Qualifying Tournament to formalize her ticket to Tokyo.
“There are things we can’t control and we can’t do anything, the effects of N-Covid19 is something unimaginable. Most of my Olympic Qualification events are postponed or cancelled, travel ban, city lockdown and country lockdown,” Diaz, who has been training in Malaysia since last month, wrote on her Instagram account Tuesday.
“Panic, fears and frustration is controlling us right now. I was supposed to have my flight today going to Colombia to compete at the Ibero-America Open Championships 2020 for my final Olympic Qualifying competition but we didn’t push through because of travel ban in Colombia,” she added.
The 28-year-old Diaz, however, remains undeterred.
“As an athlete we don’t stop when we fail once, even twice, the most important thing is we do our best and at the end of the day we won’t regret anything,” said Diaz, one of the few athletes considered to be the Philippines’ best hope for a breakthrough gold medal in the Olympics.
“I will remain focus and determine to improve every single day together with #TeamHD who prepared me and sacrificed a lot to represent God and Philippines well in Olympics.”