MANILA, Philippines -- (2nd UPDATE) Asian Games gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz revealed on Monday that she is in need of financial support amid her preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Diaz, who won a silver in weightlifting in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, posted on her Instagram story that as much as it pained her to do so, she is asking for financial help.
"Is it okay to ask sponsorship sa mga private companies towards Tokyo 2020?" said Diaz, who also won gold in the Asiad last year in Jakarta.
"Hirap na hirap na ako," she admitted. "I need financial support."
"Sa tingin niyo, okay lang kaya? Nahihiya kasi ako, pero try ko kapalan mukha ko para sa minimithi kong pangarap para sa ating bansa, na maiuwi ang gold medal sa Olympics."
Last April, Diaz took a step towards qualifying to the Tokyo Games by winning three silver medals in the 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championship in China.
In May, she bared that she continues to make progress, ranking in the top 5 of the qualifying after six months.
Now sporting a new haircut, she posted a video of her training on Monday, saying she lifted 90-kg in snatch and 110-kg in the clean-and-jerk.
"Whatever my hairstyle/haircut, it will not define who I am and who I have become," she said.
In response to Diaz, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) stressed that the government "has been very supportive" of her mission.
PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said in a statement that Diaz "receives one of the highest allowances in the national pool." He claimed that the PSC has already given P4.5 million this year to fund Diaz's training in China, while also paying for the monthly salary and food allowance of her coach, Julius Kaiwen Gao.
"Hidilyn receives support from the PSC and the Philippine Air Force, being an enlisted personnel," said Ramirez.
Ramirez said as far as they know, Diaz receives support from private companies such as the MVP Foundation and Alcantara and Sons.
The PSC pointed out that Diaz received P3 million in total from the government incentives act, RA 10699, for her silver and gold finishes in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games and the 2018 Asian Games respectively.
“I do not think government was remiss of its support to Hidilyn. Despite what it seems, we at the PSC choose to see her for what she is, a champion we will support on her dream to achieve more,” said Ramirez.
"It would be good for Hidilyn to visit us so we could talk and clarify matters.“
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