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Soldier-athletes Eumir Marcial, Hidilyn Diaz to offer Olympic fight to C-130 crash victims

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Boxer Eumir Felix Marcial and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz said they will dedicate their looming fight in the Tokyo Olympics to the victims of C-130 aircraft crash in Sulu.

Marcial and Diaz, who are both Enlisted Personnel of the Philippine Air Force, said they would do their best in the Summer Games to honor to their comrades.

"We offer our best performance in our respective events to our countrymen and our fellow soldiers, especially those who suffered in the tragic C-130 plane crash," said Marcial, who along with Diaz paid a virtual courtesy call to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana on Tuesday.

Marcial and Diaz are among the 19 Filipino athletes seeing action in this year's quadrennial meet.

The boxing event is set to take place from July 24 to August 8. The weightlifting tournament, meanwhile, will run from July 24 to August 4 at the Tokyo International Forum.

Currently, Marcial, who wears the rank of Airman First Class, is in the United States to continue his crucial buildup while Diaz, a four-time Olympian and a Sergeant, is based in Malaysia.

In the virtual meeting, Sobejana heaped praises towards the two athletes for their unwavering dedication and commitment to the flag.

He also commended Marcial and Diaz for paying their respects to the people who died and were injured when the C-130 military plane of the Philippine Air Force crashed at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in Sulu.

The death toll due to the tragic crash went up to 53 as of Tuesday, where 50 were identified as soldiers and three were civilians.

"The AFP will continue to support our military athletes all the way, especially under the renewed partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission to further elevate their skills and capabilities," Sobejana said.

"We are one with them and all the Filipino delegates in the strong desire to raise the country’s flag in the global sports scene."

—Bea Micaller/MGP, GMA News

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