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Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz has pledged to pursue her dream of winning the gold medal when Tokyo gets to host the 2020 Games, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman said yesterday.
PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said Diaz, 23, has given her word that she will go for gold four years from now.
“She made a promise to President Duterte that she’s not done and that she will go for it in 2020,” said Ramirez, noting that the PSC will shoulder her needs.
For bringing home the silver, the first Olympic medal by the Philippines in 20 years, Diaz was the recipient of cash rewards not only from the government but from the private sector as well.
The cash she received reached R10 million and there were fears earlier that Diaz would turn her back on Olympic glory.
“But Diaz reiterated her commitment to go for the gold in Tokyo,” said Ramirez, who has instructed national training director Marc Velasco to get involved in Diaz’s training.
Ramirez admits that Diaz’s life has dramatically changed following her landmark performance in Rio and feels that the biggest challenge for the PSC is to keep the Zamboanga City native motivated.
“That’s a big concern but she herself assured us that she wants to compete,” said Ramirez, stressing that he didn’t even disapproved Diaz’s plans of settling down.
“As long as she still has the competitive spirit, she can still do it,” said Ramirez, citing that marriage doesn’t necessarily ruin an athlete’s drive to excel.
To keep Diaz all tied up and under the PSC radar, Ramirez bared that the first Filipino female medalist has enrolled at St. Benilde to expand her horizon.