MANILA, Philippines – Phoenix Petroleum Services pledged P2 million to support Hidilyn Diaz in her bid to win the country's first Olympic gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 quadrennial meet.
The sponsorship will cover the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist's training, housing allowance, food, strength and conditioning, local transportation, training uniform, equipment, competition uniform, overseas training allowance, and contingency fund all the way to Tokyo 2020.
"Masaya and grateful ako sa binigay nilang support for me and the preparations towards Tokyo 2020," said the 28-year-old Diaz, who is hoping to end the gold medal drought of the Philippines next year as she eyes for her fourth straight appearance in the Olympiad.
(I'm happy and grateful for the support Phoenix gave me in my preparation towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.)
Diaz also hopes that the partnership will eventually open doors for other private sectors to extend additional support to her fellow national athletes.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Butch Ramirez said it would likewise help if more private sectors forge partnerships with the government's sport agency to aid the national athletes.
"I am very happy. I saw a very classical example of partnership between a government and private sector. This will inspire our Filipino athletes that if they perform, a private sector and government will help," said Ramirez in a statement during the ceremonial signing on Thursday afternoon, August 8, at the Guest House of Malacañang Palace.
Last June, Diaz revealed on social media that she needed more financial support for her preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Asian Games weightlifting gold medalist is slated to compete in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand on September 18 to 27.
A gold medal in the tournament can significantly ramp up her ranking for the quadrennial meet.
Diaz is also vying for her first gold medal in the country's hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games where the weightlifting tournament is scheduled to be held on December 1 to 4 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
The regional biennial meet is also considered a silver-level Olympic ranking event. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.