Could we see the country’s second Olympic gold soon?
Shedding all signs of hesitation, Filipina weightlifter and Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz is now dead-set on seeing another gold in the 2024 Paris Olympics, as revealed by the athlete and her coach Julius Naranjo.
In a series of posts on Instagram, Diaz confirmed that she will be competing in her fifth career Olympic Games, first with a photo of her wielding a replica of the Eiffel Tower.
“New year. New beginning. New goal,” wrote the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medalist.
“Everything is achievable because we will manifest it, and work for it,” wrote Naranjo, Diaz’s fiancé and coach, in another Instagram post. “The first Gold medal for the Philippines is not enough for our advocacy and what we are trying to do for weightlifting and sports in the Philippines. But TeamHD is committed and we will continue to do our best for the Philippines.
“Hidilyn Diaz’s journey is inspiring for many, but we know our job isn’t finished yet. Onto our next goals for 2022, up until 2024,” he added.
It was after Hidilyn’s historic win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when Hidilyn was hounded with questions regarding her future in the Olympics. The weightlifting superstar kept her lips sealed at first, citing that preparations for such a grand endeavor usually entailed exceptional physical and mental stress.
“Pinag-iisipan ko pa po. Kasi syempre, additional three years of sacrifices din po ‘yun sa training,” said Diaz said last August. “Medyo mahirap kasi ‘yung… preparation. Titignan ko pa rin kung [hanggang] saan ‘yung kaya, saan kaya ng katawan ko, saan kaya rin ng coaches na mag-sakripisyo rin.”
Diaz made history at last year’s Olympiad when she won the women’s 55kg weightlifting, giving the Philippines its first gold medal almost 100 years since the country debuted at the international sports competition.
She was supposed to compete at the 2021 World Weightlifting Championships last December 2021 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, but opted to instead skip the event to continue her training. Nonetheless, Diaz is still decided to show up at the 31st Southeast Asian Games this May and the 19th Asian Games in September.
Keep racking up the gold, Hidilyn!
Art Macky Arquilla