Filipino athletes bound for the Tokyo Olympics and training abroad will be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the countries where they are currently based.

The President of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Representative Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, said Malaysia has given assurances that weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and her team will receive their second dose of the vaccine.

Cavite’s representative also obtained a guarantee on the vaccination of gymnast Carlos Yulo and his Japanese trainer Munehiro Kugimiya from the Japanese Olympic Committee and the Japanese Gymnastics Association.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all our neighbors in the NOC (National Olympic Committee) for helping our athletes get vaccinated,” said Tolentino, who is also the president of the National Cycling Federation (PhilCycling).

Diaz, conditioning coach Julius Naranjo and Chinese coach Kaiwen Gao have been training in Selangor for over a year.

Boxers, especially Olympic qualifiers Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, will receive theirs at the Thai training camp where they are staying. Eumir Felix Marcial finished his vaccinations in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Boxers Rogen Ladon, Ian Clark Bautista, James Palicte, Marjon Piañar, Risa Pasuit and Aira Villegas and trainers Donald Abnett, Nolito “Boy” Velasco, Ronald Chavez, Elmer Pamisa and Reynaldo Galido also receive their vaccines abroad.

“Although vaccines are not mandatory at the Olympics, we cannot put the well-being and health of our athletes at risk,” Tolentino said. Tolentino said the POC is reaching out to pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena for a shot in Italy, where he trains. INQ

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