Hidilyn's Tokyo Olympics bid hits a snag

March 16, 2020

FILIPINA weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz's Tokyo Olympics bid encountered a rough patch after Colombia issued travel restrictions that resulted in the postponement of this week's qualifying tournament.

The South American nation bars "any foreigner who has been to Europe or Asia within the past 14 days." as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19.

In dire need of qualification points, a good result by Diaz in Cali, Colombia will boost her bid for another trip to the Olympics, where she won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Games.

World No. 5 Diaz has entered her sixth qualifying tournament and a top 10 finish will guarantee her a spot in the Olympics.

Diaz, who also won the gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games,  remains in Malaysia where she is training with the national weightlifting team.

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, in an online interview, said that he will request a review of the qualifying process to the IWF, given how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted sports events all over the world.

"I’m optimistic that the IWF Board will reconsider our plea and resolve this problem at hand in fairness to all associations worldwide," said Puentevella.