Hidilyn Diaz receives P1.5-M grant to aid Olympic quest

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2020 11:09 AM

Hidilyn Diaz during the women's 55-kg division of weightlifting in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. File photo. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines - Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has received additional financial aid in her quest to qualify for next year's Tokyo Olympics. 

The MVP Sports Foundation announced this weekend that it has realigned its 2020 financing support in the amount of P1.5M for Diaz to suit her current needs.

Diaz won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and has high hopes of reaching the podium again in Tokyo. However, her return trip to the quadrennial event was delayed for another year with the postponement of the Summer Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This led to additional expenses to fund her prolonged training. MVPSF assured that it is in constant communication with the weightlifter to keep track of her progress, and determine where it can step in financially to support the Olympian.

Diaz is still in Malaysia, as the country remains in lockdown since March.

"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," MVPSFP President al Panlilio said in a statement.

"We don't want Hidilyn to worry about her day-to-day needs, so she could pour in all her focus in training and bringing home that elusive Olympic gold medal."

Diaz was in Malaysia to train for her final Olympic qualifier when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of virtually all sporting events worldwide.

To keep herself ready for competition, Diaz recently joined the Eleiko Email International Lifters Tournament held last July 24-25 where she struck gold in the 59kg category with a total of 216kg (95kg Snatch and 121kg Clean and Jerk). The event was mounted by the Oceania Weightlifting Federation with the assistance of weightlifting equipment brand Eleiko.

"Malaking bagay para sa akin na nandiyan pa rin si MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan), tumutulong sa journey ko towards Tokyo 2020+1," said Diaz.

The 29-year-old Diaz is one of the country's top medal prospects in the Olympics.

Already qualified for the Games are gymnast Carlos Yulo, boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno, and pole-vaulter EJ Obiena.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).