Tokyo Olympics’ gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz remains undecided on what weight category to join as she bids for a berth in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
Diaz, who recently kept the -55kg weightlifting title in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, will have to decide soon if she will go up in weight or go down, to meet the standards set for the coming Olympic qualifiers.
“She’s undecided. We will find what works best in time for the Paris Olympics,” said coach Julius Naranjo, who was with Diaz to receive their incentives from President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday evening in Malacanang.
During the biennial meet, Diaz totaled 206 kgs in the finals, three ahead of eventual runner-up Sunikun Tanasan, the 2016 Rio Olympics’ gold medalist.
“My journey towards Paris (Olympics) starts here, so this SEA Games gold is very important for me,” said the 31-year-old Diaz. “Napaka-meaningful nito (SEAG). After winning the gold medal, bumalik pa din ako, nakapag-deliver ng gold medal for the Philippines. Masaya ako na nandito ako ulet ako sa SEA Games, na i-represent ang Pilipinas.”
The 55-kg event is not among the weight classes in the Paris games, and Diaz will have to choose if she will slide down to the women’s 49 kgs or go up to the 59-kg category.
Naranjo said Diaz is resting and seeking to regain her strength back after the SEA Games.
And a lot of work needs to be done as they prepare for the Cambodia SEA Games next year.
So far, Team HD has included many young and upcoming lifters in their regular workouts in Jala-Jala, Rizal.
Among those whom they helping is 23-year-old Dessa de los Santos, an aspiring female lifter from Zamboanga City.
They have also included five other junior lifters and see promise in 15-year-old Jose Dayao.