Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz continues to give the country honor as she dominated the 59kg division of the online Eleiko Email International Lifters Tournament held July 24 and 25.
Diaz, silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, had a total lift of 216kgs after submitting 95kgs in snatch and 121kgs in clean and jerk in the inaugural online tournament after majority of actual meets had been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Diaz edged Australia’s Fatima Yakubu, who had a lift of 183kgs, and South Africa’s Johanni Taljaard, who finished with 188kgs in the division participated in by 47 other weightlifters.
“Nakita namin nanalo ako,” said Diaz in a message to Manila Bulletin.
“Hindi ko in-expect na manalo kasi hindi ko kilala mga kalaban ko. Basta para sakin, I need to do my best and to prepare para motivated pa rin ako mag-training towards the Tokyo Olympics.
“Mahirap maghanap ng motivation kung walang goals na nilu-look forward. Siguro yun is panalo, bonus na lang… for me to continue training despite na nasa pandemic tayo.”
The reigning women’s Asian Games (53kg) and Southeast Asian Games (55kg) champion is still in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where she had been training since late February.
The coronavirus pandemic cancelled almost all the events of international weightlifting, including the Asian Championships where Diaz was set to compete in as her final Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Diaz is currently No. 5 in the 55kg women’s category in world ranking with 3,717.0982 points behind four Chinese weightlifters in Jiang Huihua (4,667.8878), Liao Qiuyun (4,288.9622), Zhang Wangqiong (4,212.6639) and Li Yajun (4,099.0223).
To qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, which has been pushed next year, Diaz only needs to enter her sixth and last OQT to book a second straight Olympic stint.