EXCLUSIVE: Hidilyn Diaz Assures Supporters Filipino Olympians are ‘Safe’ at Tokyo 2020 Athletes’ Village

TOKYO – The Philippines’ weightlifting queen Hidilyn Diaz on Tuesday assured supporters in Japan that she and fellow Filipino athletes are safe inside the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Athletes’ Village situated in the capital's Harumi waterfront district.

Diaz, who ended the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought by winning the silver medal in the women's 53-kg weightlifting division of Rio 2016, and 18 other Filipino athletes will compete in 11 sports in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“Sa lahat ng mga Filipino supporters namin dito sa Japan, thank you so much. Alam namin na gusto ninyo kami makita at manood sa laban namin, ramdam namin ‘yun, ang importante po safe tayo, safe rin kayo, safe kami rito mga Filipino athletes,” she said in a message sent to Filipino-Japanese Journal.

The 30-year-old Filipina weightlifter is asking supporters to pray for them.

“Please pray for our competition and for our safety here at the Athletes’ Village. Ingat po kayong lahat. Hope to see you soon,” she said.

She is also hoping that supporters will cheer for them.

“Please cheer for us habang nanonood po kayo sa TV, malaking bagay po yun sa amin na may flag ng Philippines. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas, laban Pilipinas.”

Diaz, who is aiming for a historic gold medal, will compete in the women’s 55-kg weightlifting events of Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be held at the Tokyo International Forum on July 26. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photos courtesy of Hidilyn Diaz)