The pandemic of the 2019 novel coronavirus aka COVID-19 has done an annoyingly fine job at messing with the schedules of many important events around the world. One of the most affected is the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan which has been rescheduled for July-August of 2021. As a result, many Olympic athletes who have been cautiously training for the original dates find themselves not only with an extra year, but also the prospect of how to spend it. Some Filipino Olympians find themselves worrying about how to keep their training conditions up even in the face of returning how to quarantined communities.
One of these is Philippine women’s boxing competitor Irish Magno. Inquirer.net reports that Magno, who has been in hard training all throughout the ongoing nationwide community quarantine period against COVID-19 at Manila and then Baguio, is worrying about how she can keep her fighting form sharp if the takes up the offer to return home to Januiay, Iloilo in Western Visayas to wait out the health safety restrictions. As she tells the Inquirer in interview this Sunday, July 5, while being with her family is appealing, she is aware that she cannot train there as thoroughly as she is currently.
“Once we’re all home, our training would be nothing close to what we usually get (in Baguio or Manila),” says Magno, age 28. “It really would not be enough.” The lady boxer notes that her previous Olympic training regimen had coaches always on-hand to provide feedback on the Tokyo 2020 Filipino pugilists and their performances, offering guidance and pointing out mistakes. The RP boxing contingent has been quartered at Ultra in Metro Manila after arriving earlier from their Baguio training camp. Following COVID swab tests, they have been waiting for transportation arrangements to return to their respective hometowns. That is, if they choose to return.
Returning Olympic athletes from their training locations to their hometowns has been a priority of the Philippine Sports Commission. For the boxers, they were actively presented by the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) with a choice. Irish Magno, despite her concerns, has opted to come home, hoping that her local boxing coaches in Panay can help her maintain the skills drilled to her by her national mentors. Her decision is understandable, seeing as her competing in both the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and then the Olympic boxing qualifiers left her with no Christmas vacation time at all.
Image courtesy of CNN Philippines