Marcial echoes Magno's call for more support for Filipino athletes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 18) — Tokyo-bound boxer Eumir Marcial echoed his fellow Olympian Irish Magno's call for more support for Filipino athletes.

Marcial said his morale dropped as well because he has not been able to receive his allowance, a similar situation Magno exposed on Tuesday in her now-deleted social media post.

RELATED: Tokyo Olympics-bound boxer Magno claims boxers not receiving allowances for two months

"Nakaka-low morale minsan dahil kami ginagawa namin lahat para makuha ang gintong medalya pero kulang ang suporta na natatanggap namin. Parati ako nakakarinig na malaki ang chance na makuha ko ang gintong medalya sa Olympics pero hindi ko ramdam yung suporta para makuha ko ang gintong medalya sa Olympics para sa mahal kong bansang Pilipinas," Marcial said in his social media post on Thursday.

[Translation: My morale is low because we are doing our best to win the gold medal but the support that we are receiving is not enough. I always hear that I have a big chance to win the Olympic gold medal but I cannot feel the support that I need to win it for my beloved country the Philippines.]

Marcial, who won his first professional fight last December, lamented that concerned officials failed to check on their conditions. This situation convinced the 25-year-old to turn professional last year, when he left the country alone to train under legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach.

"Ngayon nagiging masama ako dahil nagsalita ako at hindi ako nag-reach out. Last year pa lang nag-reach out na ako at nagtanong kayo kung ano ang kailangan ko dito at sinabi ko naman lahat ng kailangan ko dito pero hanggang ngayon walang nangyari. Nawalan pa kami ng allowance," he said.

[Translation: They are accusing me of being at fault now because I spoke up and I didn't reach out to them. I reached out to them last year and they asked what I need. I told them my needs but until now, nothing has happened. We lost our allowance too.]

RELATED: PSC: Marcial still an amateur boxer

Marcial, a former junior world champion and three-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, understood the financial woes brought by the pandemic in the delayed distribution of allowances. However, he appealed not to neglect the welfare of national athletes, as they strive to win the country's elusive first Olympic gold medal.

"Ito na malapit na ang Olympics, wag na natin hintayin pa ang susunod na Olympics. Please mga Pilipino tulungan nyo kami at sama-sama natin kunin ang gintong medalya na matagal na natin gustong makuha," Marcial said.

[Translation: The Olympics is near, let's not wait for the next Olympics. To all Filipinos, please help us and let's all together unite to win the gold medal that we've been aspiring for a long time.]

Philippine Sports Commission national training director Marc Velasco told CNN Philippines on Wednesday that allowances for Olympic-bound athletes were already being processed and were expected to be released within the day. Last year, the PSC was forced to slash its financial support to national athletes as the government dedicated most of its public funds to the country's battle against COVID-19.

Marcial and Magno both qualified for the coronavirus-postponed Tokyo Olympics through the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualification Meet in Amman, Jordan a year ago. Marcial bagged the gold medal in the middleweight division, while Magno won her playoff bout in the flyweight division.

Magno will be joined by world champion Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Rogen Ladon, Ian Clark Bautista, Junmilardo Ogayre, James Palicte, Marjon Pianar, Riza Pasuit, and Aira Villegas in their training camp in Thailand late this month after a successful training inside the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

So far, Marcial and Magno are two of the four national athletes who booked a slot in the Tokyo Olympics slated this July. Gymnastics sensation Carlos Yulo and pole vaulter EJ Obiena are the other national athletes who qualified for the quadrennial sports meet.