Tokyo bound Soldier-Athletes dedicate fight in honor of C-130 crash victims

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DAVAO CITY — Soldier-athletes Eumir Felix Marcial and Hidilyn Diaz on Tuesday said they will offer their fight in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics in honor of their comrades who were injured and died in the crashed C-130 aircraft.

“We offer our best performance in our respective events to our countrymen and our fellow soldiers, especially those who suffered in the tragic C-130 plane crash,” said Marcial.

The two athletes who are both Enlisted Personnel of the Philippine Air Force paid a virtual courtesy call to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana on Tuesday.

They are bound for Japan to represent the Philippines in the international multisport event to be held from July 23 to August 8.

“With the kind of dedication and commitment that A1C Marcial and Seregant Diaz have, the AFP is sure that they will bring honor to the country,” General Sobejana said.

Marcial who wears the rank of Airman First Class is currently training in the United States while Diaz who is a Sergeant is in Malaysia preparing for the Olympics.

In the virtual meeting, General Sobejana praised the military athletes’ dedication, commitment and sacrifices in preparation for the international event. He notes that 90 percent of the time and effort are heavily devoted to training and the remaining 10 percent is for the competition itself.

Sergeant Diaz is the first female athlete to win an Olympic Medal for the Philippines and first Filipino to medal in Weightlifting.

She made history after winning the silver medal in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting division of the 2016 Rio Olympics, ending the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought.

The three-time Olympian, who competed in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 competitions, is also a gold-medallist in the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 South East Asian Games.

Airman Marcial on the other hand is a pro boxer who represented the Philippines at the 2015, 2017, and 2019 Southeast Asian Games and at the 2011 Aiba Youth World Boxing Championships and won the gold medals.

The 26-year old athlete has won 13 gold, two silver, and four bronze medals since he started his boxing career in 2011.

“The AFP will continue to support our military athletes all the way, especially under the renewed partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission to further elevate their skills and capabilities. We are one with them and all the Filipino delegates in the strong desire to raise the country’s flag in the global sports scene,” General Sobejana said.-PR

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