Olympic champ Hidilyn Diaz set to join world championship

Published September 2, 2021, 2:58 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Hidilyn Diaz (MB Files)

Hidilyn Diaz said she looks forward to competing in the 2021 Weightlifting World Championship with high hopes of duplicating her success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The 30-year-old Diaz became the country’s first gold medal winner in the history of its Summer Games participation when she ruled the 55-kg in women’s category last July 26 in Japan.

Her next target is the world championship.

“Definitely gusto ko pa din na makalaro sa world championship,” Diaz told the Manila Bulletin in an exchange Wednesday night, Sept. 1. “Hindi ko pa alam kelan ako mag-start ng training program ko.”

“Hopefully soon maka-start na ako ng training ko, kasi need talaga din na paghandaan yun event na yun.”

Diaz said that the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) moved the tournament from the first week of November to the second week of December this year.

Also, the venue would be in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and no longer the original tournament host Peru. Diaz was in Tashkent last April when she competed in the Asian Championship, where she participated in her sixth Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) to book a spot in the Tokyo meet.

Joining the world championship isn’t new to Diaz, who captured three bronze medals in the 53-kg category during the 2015 event in Houston, Texas in the US. The following year, she bagged the silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the same division, Diaz settled with a bronze after a third place finish overall despite taking a silver in clean and jerk in 2017 in Anaheim, and the next year, she placed ninth overall when the IWF replaced the 53-kg division to 55-kg category in the women’s side.

Two years ago in Pattaya, Thailand, the Zamboanga City native earned a pair of bronze medals in the same weight class. The event was not held last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.