Travel ban in Colombia places Diaz’s Olympic berth at stake

Hidilyn Diaz’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth is not yet certain (Sherwin Vardeleon/

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

With the next Olympic qualifying event for weightlifting scheduled at Colombia, Filipina Hidilyn Diaz sees her Olympics future as doubtful after a travel ban was issued on Asians and Europeans due to COVID-19.

Diaz needs to join a total of 6 Olympic qualifying events to get a seat for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but the recent issues rising from the spread of COVID-19 delayed and canceled some major events.

Diaz is waiting for this last Olympic qualifier event at Colombia to clinch her Tokyo Olympics spot but the travel ban won’t allow her to participate.

Currently, Diaz is ranked fifth in the women’s division but tournament rules state that only one weightlifter should represent the country for the Olympics.

In Diaz’s case, she is currently second in the spot and will need the last Olympic qualifier to finalize her seat for the Olympics.

Samahang Weightlifter ng Pilipinas ( SWP) president Monico Puentevella said that he will be proposing a plan to the International Weightlifting Federation, making the total number of qualifiers from 6 to 5, with the COVID-19 scare doing the damage and creating havoc.

I’m optimistic that the IWF Board will reconsider our plea and resolve this problem at hand in fairness to all associations worldwide,” said Puentevella.