POC chief Tolentino believes Hidilyn Diaz still a strong contender in 2024 Olympics

Published October 15, 2021, 3:47 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (center) and now head coach Julius Naranjo (second from left) are treated to a sumptuous despedida and good luck dinner by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (right) and Tagaytay City Mayor Dr. Agnes Tolentino (fourth from right) on Thursday at the Grandmaster Hotel in Tagaytay City. Also in photo is POC Deputy Secretary General for Administration Carl Sambrano.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Bambol Tolentino believes weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz still has what it takes to defend her Olympic title in the 2024 Paris Games.

“I believe she will still be formidable at that time (2024),” Tolentino said during the recent despedida dinner he and his wife, Tagaytay City Mayor Agnes Tolentino, hosted to Diaz and head coach Julius Naranjo.

“And there will be other weightlifters like Rose Jean Ramos, who could qualify for the Olympics.”

Diaz has yet to decide on whether she would attempt to qualify for the Paris Olympics. At the moment, the 30-year-old has set her sights on the 2021 World Weightlifting Championships set Dec. 1 to 7 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Diaz and Naranjo are scheduled to leave for Malacca, Malaysia Saturday to return to the same private home and facility where the veteran weightlifter train on her way to winning the country’s first Olympic gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The world championships is the only missing jewel for Diaz, who has already reigned supreme in the Southeast Asian Games, the Asian Games and the Olympics.

Diaz has earlier expressed her desire to defend her gold medals at the 31th Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi in May and the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in September next year.