Manila, Philippines, March 17, 2020: Asian Games weightlifting champion Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines has expressed the feelings and frustrations of athletes around the world in the current COVID-19 climate.
The 29-year-old Rio Olympics silver medallist is hoping to compete in her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer and try to move one place up the podium, but the sports world has been thrown into turmoil in recent weeks.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Diaz admitted: “There are things we can’t control and we can’t do anything (about) – the effects of N-Covid-19 are something unimaginable.”
The 2019 SEA Games champion said most of her Olympic qualification events had been postponed or cancelled and she faced travel bans, city lockdowns and country lockdowns.
“Panic, fear and frustration is controlling us right now,” she added.
Diaz explained that she was due to depart for Colombia on Tuesday to compete at the Ibero-America Open Championships 2020 for her final Olympic qualifying competition but the trip fell through because of the travel ban in Colombia.
“As an athlete we don’t stop when we fail once, even twice; the most important thing is we do our best and, at the end of the day, we won’t regret anything.
"I will remain focused and determined to improve every single day together with #TeamHD who prepared me and sacrificed a lot to represent God and Philippines well in Olympics.”
Diaz was enjoying a successful year, having won three gold medals at the Roma World Cup and producing her best snatch technique.
“Speaking of Italy, mio amico and mia amica take care always; be strong; you are in my prayers, in my thoughts and worries.
“To my friends, family, supporters, fans, church mates and Airforce co-athletes, please take care, wash your hands and social distancing,” she concluded.