MANILA, Philippines -- Boxer Eumir Marcial and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz will keep in mind their comrades who were injured and died in the C-130 crash in Sulu last Sunday when they compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Both athletes are enlisted personnel of the Philippine Air Force. They paid a virtual courtesy call to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana on Tuesday.
"We offer our best performance in our respective events to our countrymen and our fellow soldiers, especially those who suffered in the tragic C-130 plane crash," said Marcial, who is considered as a potential gold medalist.
Marcial, who wears the rank of Airman First Class, is currently training with USA Boxing in Colorado.
Diaz, a sergeant, remains in Malaysia where she has been training since last year. The weightlifter is also tipped to win another medal in Tokyo after making history in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, when she won the silver.
"With the kind of dedication and commitment that A1C Marcial and Seregant Diaz have, the AFP is sure that they will bring honor to the country," Sobejana said.
"The AFP will continue to support our military athletes all the way, especially under the renewed partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission to further elevate their skills and capabilities," he also said.
"We are one with them and all the Filipino delegates in the strong desire to raise the country's flag in the global sports scene."
As of Tuesday, the number of deaths from the C-130 crash stood at 53.
The plane, carrying 96 people, crashed in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday when it overshot the runway while trying to land on Jolo island.
Four civilians were injured in the crash, while 46 injured personnel are still in critical condition.