Weightlifting queen Hidilyn Diaz finally confirmed her plan to move up in weight—from 55 kgs to 59 kgs—if and when she competes in 2024 Paris Olympics.
Diaz said this as she was given a warm welcome by Philippine Sports Commissioner Bong Coo at the airport upon her arrival from the New York, where she stayed for more than a week for her PT sessions and post-training following here gold-medal conquest in the recent World Championship in Bogota, Colombia.
Diaz reigned supreme in the 55-kg division in the 2022 Olympics and the recent World Championship in Colombia. In Paris, however, that category has been scrapped, leaving Diaz to choose between going down to 49 kgs or move up to 59 kgs, which she eventually chose.
Diaz shared her team watched the 59-kg competition in Colombia and identified the top rivals from Colombia, Canada, Chinese Taipei and Japan.
“Pinanood namin ‘yung 59-kg na labanan sa Colombia and nakita namin na kakayanin,” she said.
“Mahirap pero kaya, basta naka mindset na ako for that. Sa pagkuha ng weight madali. Pero ‘pag develop sa strength, ‘yan talaga paghandaan namin,” said the pride of Zamboanga.
There will be no long Christmas holiday for Diaz, who will continue training at a gym in Greenhills, San Juan before going to Jala-jala, Rizal to train with her young wards at her HD Academy.
Coo has provided transport for Diaz, who endured a 26-hour flight from New York.
She and husband coach Julius Naranjo returned to their condominium residence in Eastwood, which was part of the gifts she received as a Tokyo Olympics’ gold medalist.
“Hidilyn is a jewel na dapat natin alagaan, on behalf of the Filipino people, we profusely thank Hidilyn, who continuously makes our country proud,” said Coo, herself World Hall of Famer in Bowling before becoming a top sports official.
“And she has no plans of slowing down. She vows to again carry our flag n Paris,” Coo added.