Cebuano Olympic hopefuls back Tokyo games delay
Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - March 26, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebuano Olympic hopefuls Mary Joy Tabal and Margielyn Didal welcomed the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for at least a year.

The quadrennial sporting event was supposed to be held on July 24 to August 9 this year but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has agreed to the proposal of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee to reset the Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tabal, who is eyeing for her second Olympic appearance after making history as the first Filipina Olympic marathoner at the 2016 Rio Games in Brazil, said she is glad of such development as it is for welfare and safety of everyone.

“I’m glad that we will be able to have the Olympics at a time where it is surrounded by excitement and celebration rather than stress and anxiety. The safety of the people in the world will always be most important,” said the decorated long distance runner.

“I’m happier that at least it’s only postponed, not cancelled,” she added. “ Right now, we should all be more concerned about the health of our world than excellence in sports,” she added.

Skateboard sensation Didal, for her part, doesn’t mind when the Olympics will be staged.

“Maski unsa. Kung madayon o dili this year o next year, padayon lang ko gihapon sa akong preparasyon sa Olympics,” said Didal, who produced the Philippines’ first ever gold in skateboarding event at the Asian Games two years ago in Indonesia.

Didal went home ahead of her original schedule next month after several Olympic qualifying events she was set to join were either postponed or cancelled.

Olympian Ramon Solis, coach of Cebuano weightlifters John Febuar Ceniza and Elreen Ann Ando who are also setting their sights on the Olympics, agrees with IOC’s move.

“Mas mayo nga ma-postpone kay karong panahuna, wala gyud nay kondisyon tarong ang mga athletes apil na silang Ceniza ug Ando ana. Mas maayo nga next year na para naa pay time maka-preparar,” said Solis.

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