“She will make it”.
That was the confident statement of Team Philippines Chef de Mission and Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez during the courtesy visit of recent IWF World Weightlifting Championships double bronze medalist Hidilyn Diaz yesterday.
The 28-year-old Diaz won the two bronze medals in the 55-kg division after lifting a combined weight of 214 kilos in the snatch and clean and jerk categories in the said tournament. She needs at least two more competitions to cement her slot in the Tokyo Olympics.
Ramirez welcomed the three-time Olympian Diaz, Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella, and the rest of the national weightlifting team that competed in Pattaya, Thailand.
On Diaz' bronze win, Ramirez remarked that "Para sa akin, gold medal iyon," adding that he is positive that Hidilyn will win medals in the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games, which is one of the three qualifiers she will compete in as part of her Olympic journey.
“I would like to thank the PSC and other sponsors for their continuous support to my campaign. Now, I will continue on my mission to qualify and win gold in Tokyo, and also represent the country for the SEA Games,” said Diaz, who is looking for her first gold medal finish in the SEA Games this November.
Ramirez assured Diaz that the sports agency will bankroll her three other qualifying competitions.
Diaz said that she is focused on her mission to win an Olympic gold and that she will decide later on if she is up for another Olympic campaign, if ever, her fifth.
Puentevella bared that aside from Diaz, three other weightlifters are set to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“We are also looking at our veteran weightlifter Nestor Colonia, Elreen Ando and Kristel Macrohon to join Hidilyn to qualify and compete in Tokyo.”