Filipino athletes heading to the Tokyo Olympics and training abroad will be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the countries where they are currently located.
The president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, said Malaysia assured that weightlifter Hidilyn Díaz and her team will receive their second dose of the vaccine.
The Cavite representative also obtained a guarantee on the inoculation from gymnast Carlos Yulo and his Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya from the Japan Olympic Committee and the Japanese Gymnastics Association.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all our neighbors at the NOC (National Olympic Committee) for helping our athletes get vaccinated,” said Tolentino, who is also president of the national cycling federation (PhilCycling).
Diaz, conditioning coach Julius Naranjo and Chinese coach Kaiwen Gao have been training in Selangor for more than a year.
The boxers, in particular Olympic qualifiers Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, will receive theirs at the Thailand training ground where they are staying. Eumir Felix Marcial completed his vaccinations in Las Vegas earlier this year.
Also vaccinated abroad are boxers Rogen Ladon, Ian Clark Bautista, James Palicte, Marjon Piañar, Risa Pasuit and Aira Villegas and trainers Donald Abnett, Nolito “Boy” Velasco, Ronald Chavez, Elmer Pamisa and Reynaldo Galido.
“Although vaccinations are not mandatory at the Olympics, we cannot put the well-being and health of our athletes at risk,” Tolentino said. Tolentino said the POC is reaching out to pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena to get his shot in Italy, where he is training. INQ
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