Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino is hoping all the country’s Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes training abroad will get their COVID-19 vaccines in time for the next month’s Summer Games.
“Although vaccine is not mandatory in the Olympics, we cannot put the well-being and health of our athletes at risk,” said Tolentino. “Once you tested positive, you’re automatically out of the competition.”
At present, only three of the 10 who qualified to Tokyo have received jabs — boxer Eumir Marcial in Los Angeles early this year, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a month ago and rower Cris Nievarez at the Manila Prince Hotel two weeks back.
Gymnast Caloy Yulo and pugs Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam will get theirs from Japan and Thailand, respectively.
Tolentino said they are finding ways to get Obiena, who is based in Formia, Italy and currently campaigning in Europe, inoculated.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to all our NOC (national Olympic committee) neighbors for helping our athletes to get vaccinated,” said Tolentino.
Taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa and skateboarder Margie Didal will receive theirs in the second batch of vaccination of national athletes within the month.