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Friday, July 26, 2024

Diaz likened to Pacquiao

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Tokyo Olympics’ gold medallist Hidilyn Diaz can be likened to boxing icon Senator Manny Pacquiao.

The fighting spirit and the never-say-die attitude make Diaz like Pacquiao, an eight- division champion in boxing.

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella believes so following Diaz’s historic campaign in the recent quadrennial meet.

 “She is like Manny Pacquiao. Pareho sila. That’s why they are champions, it’s their mindset, their mind conditioning. She could have stopped in Rio (Olympics). But she did not,” said Puentevella.

The 30-year-old Diaz showed a lot of determination when she continued to train for the Tokyo Games despite the difficulties she faced, brought about by the travel restrictions and lack of training facilities, which came as a result of lockdowns done to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

In the Rio Games, Diaz competed in her third consecutive Olympics in the women’s 53kg  category.

While training for the Tokyo Games, she was  stranded in Malaysia for 17 months, from February 2020 until July 2021.

But with government support and assistance from the Philippine Sports Commission and the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, Diaz continued to push herself to be competitive in the Tokyo Games.

“Her mindset is phenomenal. Even when she lost in the Beijing Olympics, and in London, she kept on going,” said Puentevella, adding the support of Team HD, made up of head coach Gao Kaiwen, nutritionist Jeaneth Aro, strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo and sports psychologist Dra. Karen Trinidad, was one of the keys to her title conquest in Tokyo.

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