Olympians EJ Obiena (L), Hidilyn Diaz (C) and Eumir Marcial will have more time to prepare for their Olympic bids with the postponement
How the Olympics postponement affects Filipino athletes
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - March 25, 2020 - 9:21am

MANILA, Philippines — In an unprecedented move, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Tuesday that the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will be postponed due to the novel coronavirus threat (COVID-19).

For the first time ever since World War II, the Summer Games will not be held as scheduled and will be delayed for a year.

The Olympics becomes the biggest sporting event in the world that has been affected by the coronavirus, but how will the postponement affect Filipino athletes?

As of posting, there are four Filipinos through to the Tokyo Olympics: pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.

With the postponement, athletes like Obiena, who is currently in lockdown in Italy due to the virus, will have more time to train and prepare.

Yulo, Marcial and Magno will likewise be able to adjust their training regimens accordingly to the new schedule.

Apart from the four, Filipinos currently chasing for an Olympic spot like Hidilyn Diaz, Junna Tsukii and Jamie Lim will also have more opportunities to punch a ticket to the Games.

Diaz, who won a historic silver medal for the Philippines in the Rio 2016 Olympics, encountered a problem in her Olympic bid when a competition in Cali, Colombia barred competitors from Asia and Europe due to the outbreak.

The weightlifter will have the chance to make up for the missed competition with the postponement.
Tsukii and Lim will also be able to rack up more points to reach their Olympic goal before the Games kick off in 2021.

While the change in schedule will definitely affect training regimens and the conditioning of athletes getting ready for the event, holding off the event until the coronavirus threat tapers off seems like the best course of action.

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