Tokyo-bound Pinoy boxers ready to adjust, as organizers postpone Olympics

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2020 12:51 AM

The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) on Tuesday said it understands the decision to push back the date of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics given the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ed Picson, secretary general of the sport's national governing body, acknowledged that local boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno will adjust.

“Obviously we have no choice but to follow the IOC's pronouncements on when it will happen. Some of us might not like it but these are extraordinary times which call for extraordinary measures,” Picson said hours before the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese Games organizers agreed on the postponement. 

Besides Marcial and Magno, pole-vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo have qualified for the Games.

Hidilyn Diaz, who won silver in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, is a favorite to join those four.

“As to the preparations, if indeed it is postponed, we’ll just need to make adjustments,” Picson said in the same interview prior to the IOC announcement.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC president Thomas Bach agreed Tuesday to postpone this summer's Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Japanese leader said.

After speaking with Bach on the phone, Abe told reporters that they will aim to hold the Olympics and Paralympics next year. It is the first time ever that the quadrennial sporting event has been postponed.

The unprecedented delay will be a major blow to host Japan and is certain to have a cascade of economic, political and social ramifications. It will also pose considerable logistical challenges to Olympic organizers.

The phone talks came amid mounting pressure from athletes and sports organizations to reschedule the Olympics due to the rapid spread of the virus, and just a day after Abe told parliament that the Summer Games cannot be held under the current circumstances, suggesting for the first time that they may have to be postponed.

Athletes have been struggling to train as gyms and other sports facilities have been closed since the virus that broke out in China late last year spread to all of the world's seven continents except Antarctica. -- With a report from Kyodo News

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