Hidilyn Diaz’s Tokyo Olympic quest gets financial boost
MANILA, Philippines—Hidilyn Diaz, who has been training in Malaysia since March, received additional financial aid for her quest for her first Olympic gold medal.
The 2016 Rio Olympics weightlifting silver medalist received P1.5 million from MVP Sports Foundation while she continues her training for the Tokyo Games which was rescheduled to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MVPSF President Al Panlilio said the move was one of their ways to help the Olympian, who has continued her training in Malaysia while she can’t go back to the Philippines.
“It was due to these unforeseen circumstances that we at MVPSF decided that it was best to realign our support to cover Hidilyn’s living expenses such as food and rent as she continues to remain focused towards her goal of winning the first Olympic gold medal for our country in her fourth time to qualify for the Olympics,” said Panlilio in a statement.
“Our Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan deeply cares about all of the athletes under the MVPSF banner and we’re doing our best to help take care of their needs during this difficult time. We don’t want Hidilyn to worry about her day-to-day needs so she could pour in all her focus on training and bringing home that elusive Olympic gold medal.”
Diaz was in Malaysia to train for the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships, which would’ve been her final Olympic Qualifying event, but the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the event and left her stranded.
The Asian competition, which had a gold level qualification status, was supposed to be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from April 16 to 25.
Diaz, meanwhile, still found ways to compete and won the gold medal in the 59-kilogram division of Eleiko Email International Lifters Tournament last month.
“Thank you MVPSF for all the help you’ve given me and to Team HD during this pandemic,” said Diaz in Filipino. “It’s a huge deal that MVP is there to help me in my journey towards Tokyo 2020+1.”