By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Filipino athletes in Tokyo are already feeling the Olympic vibe at the Games Village with only four days left before the grandest stage in sports officially opens.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who arrived from her training camp in Malaysia over the weekend, posted a photo of the PH team room balcony emblazoned with team banners and the Philippine flag.
“#LabanPilipinas,” the photo caption read.
The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist was also able to catch up with Japan-based world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, who entered the Village also last weekend.
“Sana mahaba ang usapan natin champ. Good luck sa laban mo sa July 24. Kaya mo yan. Please include Caloy in your prayers,” Diaz wrote along with a photo of her and Yulo.
Foreign-based swimmers Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule also got a taste of the competition venue as they immediately buckled down to training at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre after arriving on Sunday.
Philippine Swimming Inc President Lani Velasco posted a series of photos of Gebbie and Rule at the venue with a caption that read, “The power of an athlete’s dream… Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule fulfilling their lifelong dreams.”
Japanese coach Munehiro Kugimiya also posted a photo on his Facebook account of him and Yulo watching training videos and strategizing in time for the competition on Saturday.
“Every Monday, meeting and meeting,” Kugimiya wrote.
Taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa was also be seen at the training gym in coach Carlos Padilla’s Instagram Stories as they gear up for the competition proper also on Saturday.
All local-based athletes are already in Tokyo, while more will come over the next few days as the strong 19-man PH team remains in high spirits to end the country’s long-awaited goal of winning the first Olympic gold medal.