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EJ Obiena gets support from Hidilyn Diaz, Eumir Marcial


When an Olympian is down, the rest of the team will lift their teammate back up.

In his uphill battle with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, EJ Obiena received some moral support from his fellow Team Pilipinas teammates Hidilyn Diaz and Eumir Marcial.

Marcial, the bronze medalist in the stacked 2020 Summer Olympics’ boxing middleweight division, was the first to express his support for Obiena.

2020-tokyo-olympics-eumir-marcial-bronze EJ Obiena gets support from Hidilyn Diaz, Eumir Marcial Boxing News Track & Field Weightlifting  - philippine sports news

“Masakit ito para sa isang kapwa atleta,” said Marcial, the same age as Obiena.

“Hindi pa lamang nag sisimula ang Tokyo Olympics ipinakita na ni EJ ang kanyang supporta sa akin na kahit alam ko na mayroon din siyang problema. Ngayon ako naman ang susuporta sa ‘yo!

“With the current issue surrounding my fellow Tokyo 2020 Olympian, I feel that it is only right as a fellow athlete and Olympian that I express my support and collectively ask to show our solidarity with EJ,” the Zamboangueno continued.

Marcial would also opine that PATAFA is trying to invalidate what Obiena has sacrificed for the country. And it has given the young pole vaulter unnecessary stress as he prepares for both the 2021 Southeast Asian Games and the 2022 Asian Games.

For her part, Diaz, the country’s first and only gold medalist in the Olympics, knows what Obiena is going through.

After all, the 30-year-old weightlifter experienced a turbulent ride heading into her campaign in Tokyo that only made her much stronger. It included being maligned by some sports officials for asking for financial help during her training.

tokyo-2020-hidilyn-diaz-cry EJ Obiena gets support from Hidilyn Diaz, Eumir Marcial Boxing News Track & Field Weightlifting  - philippine sports news

Photo from @Tokyo2020

“Alam ko ‘yung pinagdadaanan mo, naiintindihan kita,” Diaz told Level Up of Radyo Katipunan.

“Mahirap maging atleta pero isipin natin na ginagawa natin ito para sa Pilipinas.

“May mga time siguro na kinukwestiyon mo kung bakit, may mga time na parang ayaw mo na, lalong lalo ngayon may injury ka. Isipin mo na lang ‘yung team na nasa behind mo – na hindi sila sumusuko sa ‘yo at naniniwala sila sa ‘yo,” she continued.

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Just like her, Diaz hopes that Obiena would not give up on his dreams and the country.

“Alam ko medyo mahirap ang pinagdadaanan mo ngayon. Alam ko ‘yung hirap na mag-liquidate. Alam ko rin ‘yung nandiyan ka sa Italy na mag-isa, malayo sa pamilya,” expressed Diaz, who had to train in Malaysia for two years for her Olympic training.

“Huwag kang sumuko. Kahit ano mang binabato sa ‘yong mga sinasabi diyan, huwag kang sumuko. Kayang-kaya mo ‘yan!”

Obiena feels grateful to Marcial and Diaz for having his back in these trying times.

2019-Sea-Games-Obiena-1253-1 EJ Obiena gets support from Hidilyn Diaz, Eumir Marcial Boxing News Track & Field Weightlifting  - philippine sports news

“Maraming salamat Kuya Eumir. Really means a lot,” he said to Marcial.

“She has been a different kind of mentor. She literally walked this path. Thank you for guiding me and letting me know what is out there and what I should be wary of,” Obiena remarked about Diaz.

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