Different Olympic qualifiers being reset

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Hidilyn Diaz—SHERWIN VARDELEON

Taekwondo’s Asian Qualification Tournament (AQT), where a handful of Filipino jins will be vying for Olympic berths, has been rescheduled to June 5 to 6, the Inquirer learned on Monday.

The development was confirmed by Stephen Fernandez, Philippine Taekwondo Association’s regional affairs chief.

“We’re hoping that the health hazard clears up in the coming months,” Fernandez told the Inquirer.

Kirstie Alora, a participant in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, leads the crop of Filipino hopefuls.

Also in the bunch are Pauline Lopez, Kurt Barbarosa, Dave Cea and Sam Morrison.

Only the top two finishers of each event advance to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this July, should it push through also.

“For now, there is no announcement from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) that the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed or canceled,’’ said Abraham Tolentino, Philippine Olympic Committee president.

A total of 62 Filipino athletes will go through various qualifying tournaments in their respective events.

Lifter Hidilyn Diaz, seen as the brightest Philippine bet for a gold in Tokyo, has one tournament left to comply from among the six qualifying events required for all lifters who want to secure a spot.

Diaz didn’t make it to Colombia’s Ibero American Open set on March 19 after Colombia refused entry from bets from Europe and Asia. INQ

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