MANILA, Philippines – Following a golden stint in the 2018 Asian Games, weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz will be gearing up for her Tokyo 2020 Olympics bid with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) rallying behind her.
That's what PSC president William "Butch" Ramirez assured the country's star athlete after she vented out her frustrations with the internal problems hounding Philippine weightlifting.
"When I received her letter, I have requested a conversation with her and offer resolutions to her requests," Ramirez told Rappler.
"[We] immediately formed her core team [composed of] a sports psychologist, physiologist, physical therapist, high performance coach, masseus, foreign Chinese coach and other requirements, and 6 world qualifying circuit competitions [are] approved."
In response to Diaz's letter dated September 21, Ramirez called for a meeting to resolve the dispute between Samahang Weightlifting of the Philippines (SWP) president Monico Puentevella and the olympian.
"[Diaz's] trip to Tokyo Olympics will proceed with her core team and the normal support of goverment. That's very good when people talk and find resolution of gaps and conflicts," said Ramirez.
In a video interview with Rappler during the Asiad, Diaz expressed her frustrations with Puentevella and questioned his plans for weightlifting.
"Kasi ako, ang dami kong gusto sa sports ko, and the question is: ano ang gusto ng NSA (National Sports Association) president namin kung may NSA president kami? Ano ang gusto niyang gawin para sa weightlifting? Para sa mga atleta? Ano ang plano niya?" said the Olympic silver medalist.
(I want a lot of things for my sport, and the question is: what does our NSA president want, if we even have an NSA president? What does he want to do for weightlifting? For the athletes? What are his plans?)
"Kasi hindi dapat tayo umasa [lang] sa POC and PSC. Ang dami nilang sports na nasa baba sa kanila. So kung parati tayo nagclclaim or nagcocomplain sa PSC and POC, walang mangyayari sa atin."
(We can't just rely on the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) and PSC. They handle a lot of sports, so if we're always just going to complain to PSC and POC, nothing is going to happen to us.)
Puentevella is currently in the process of gaining recogniton as president of the SWP, which has replaced the Philippine Weightlifting Association.
In the POC general assembely last September 27, membership committee head Robert Bachmann reported that SWP and Puentevella are "recognized provisionally" and are "subject to formal confirmation by the International Federation."
Diaz will see action in the 2018 World Weightlifting Championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in November. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine 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.