IT has been a banner year for Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first-ever women’s weightlifting gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games that added to her trophy case.
“Maganda ang 2019 ko,” said Diaz after dominating the 55 kg. division Monday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. “Ang laki ng naging progress ng training ko, technique ko, then, right track kami towards Tokyo 2020.”
Though she is done in international competition this year, there is no rest for Diaz, ready to sacrifice the Christmas season as she continues to chase her qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Diaz’s victory was crucial, as the SEA Games is classified as a silver-level International Weightlifting Federation qualification event, meaning she will gain additional ranking points. The Zamboanga native is currently ranked No. 9 in the world in her weight class.
“Next (for me) is the Roma World Cup (in Italy), then after that, Asian Championships, then Olympics. Please include me in your prayers,” said Diaz.
The Roma 2020 World Cup is on Jan. 27-31, followed by the Asian Championships on April 16-25 in Kazakhstan.
“After this, tomorrow training na agad ako, wala akong Christmas, wala akong New Year. Dito lang ako, magte-training, Kailangan ko mag-training, kailangan ko mag-diet,” said the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist.
There are plenty of things that Diaz needed to work on as she tries to achieve the first hurdle on the way to winning the elusive Olympic gold.
In snatch, Diaz tried to go for 94 kg. on her third attempt but was unsuccessful, settling for 91. She later went perfect in three clean and jerk attempts, garnering 120 kg. to seal the gold with 211 kg.
“Clean and jerk, alam kong kaya ko. Sa snatch, medyo hindi ko pa naayos yung technique ko,” said Diaz.