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Tokyo aspirant Nesthy Petecio happy that Olympics will push through
Nesthy Petecio
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Tokyo aspirant Nesthy Petecio happy that Olympics will push through

Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - January 22, 2021 - 2:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — With the International Olympic Committee voicing its confidence that the Tokyo Games will push through as scheduled this year, athletes all over the world breathed a sigh of relief that the competition they have longed prepared for will not be cancelled.

One of them was Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio.

“I’m happy that that there will be an Olympics,” said the 28-year-old Petecio, the 2019 world women’s champion who is currently among the athletes training at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna seeking that one precious Tokyo berth, in Filipino.

On Thursday, IOC president Thomas Bach said the Olympics, set July 23 to August 8, must go on and that they have “no plan B.” Bach’s announcement came despite the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Japan and the rest of the world.

And Petecio’s worry grows everyday thinking about it.

“Of course, I’m also nervous on what will happen to us there (Tokyo) because, without the vaccine, we can’t really help ourselves not feeling nervous,” she said.

Last year, Tokyo-bound pole-vaulter Ej Obiena, who has been in Italy since last year, revealed he felt depressed after the quadrennial summer event was postponed.

Same with 2016 Rio weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia since the lockdown.

“I’m happy for the athletes that the IOC speaks with finality,” said Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.

But despite IOC’s reassurance, Ramirez said it would still be up to Japan to make the final decision.

“Let’s wait for the Tokyo Olympics committee and the Japanese government who has the final say inside their own country,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez, however, stressed the national team is ready for any possible scenario.

“Philippine sports are prepared for the realization of these international sports competitions, but again, the ultimate consideration of all is the lives of our athletes,” he said.

The country, which already qualified four athletes — Obiena, gymnast Caloy Yulo and pugs Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno — to the Tokyo considers this staging as its best chance of ending its long search for an elusive first Olympic gold.

And saying it would not be scrapped means the long wait could be over.

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