Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) President Monico Puentevella believed that it is quite difficult for national athletes who are peaking right now to train for another year for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

There are unconfirmed reports that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to postpone the Olympics due to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

And Puentevella expressed the negative and positive effects if it’s going to be moved in 2021.

yulo20200325 - Moving Olympics in 2021 tough for athletes – Puentevella
World champion Carlos Edriel Yulo displays his winning form during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games men’s artistic gymnastics competition held at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila. Yulo is one of the four Filipino qualified athletes who will be seeing action in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. FILE PHOTO

“The only positive note here is to protect the athletes from this virus, from this pandemic and that’s the main concern of everybody so if you postpone it there might be some vaccine or remedies that will happen,” Puentevella told The Manila Times through a phone interview on Tuesday.

So far, the Philippines has already four athletes qualified for the Olympics. They are boxers Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno, pole vaulter EJ Obiena of athletics, and gymnast Carlos Yulo.

“But I guess the athletes preparation will be anyway affected here because of the one year postponement. It could affect the athletes. Instead of four year of preparations, they have another additional one year to prepare,” explained Puentevella.

“It is quite a bargain. Another one year of training and physical fitness is quite taxing and difficult for athletes to maintain their peak. If you have already prepared for four years now, we have to prepare another year. Nobody has the advantage, it is the same for everybody.”

The biggest loser in this pandemic situation, said Puentevella, is the Japanese Olympic Organizing Committee because they already invested billions in preparation.

“They have advertisers, they have deadlines to beat and they already made arrangements with hotels. The big loser here is the Japanese Olympic Committee, the organizer,” added Puentevella, noting that the IOC is just trying its best to protect the interest of the athletes against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“You know miracles may happen, but if this pandemic will continue, then so be it. Because it affects everybody athletes, and I sympathize with the organizer. They will use billions of money, but if you can’t stop this pandemic then what we can do? We are forced to postpone.”

Puentevella added the country’s first Olympic gold medal hope remains bright with athletes from boxing, gymnastics and weightlifting doing well in international competitions as well as in other sports including judo.

Puentevella is waiting for the decision of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to name Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz as official qualifier for the Tokyo Olympics.

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