June 13, 2024

Hidilyn Diaz solid in 59 kg debut, just misses podium finish in Asian Weightlifting Championships

Hidilyn Diaz solid in 59 kg debut, just misses podium finish in Asian Weightlifting Championships
IWF screenshot

Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz proved her mettle in her first foray into the 59-kilogram division at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Jinju, South Korea on Sunday, finishing fourth in a star-filled competition.

Diaz showed her experience throughout the match, succeeding in all her three attempts in snatch, tallying a best of 99 kilograms.

In the clean and jerk portion, Diaz aced her first attempt of 118kg, then one-upped herself with 122kg in the second. That would figure to be her best after failing in the third, where she couldn’t complete lifting 125 kilos.

The Filipina weightlifting champ’s total score of 221 is good for a fourth-place finish, behind Chinese bets Luo Shifang, Pei Xinyi, and Chinese-Taipei's Kuo Hsing-Chun, who finished first, second, and third, respectively.

Pei is the reigning 64kg World Champion who just moved down to 59, while Kuo won the last Olympic gold in the division.

Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Mikiko Ando of Japan, meanwhile, finished fifth in the competition, behind Diaz.

Another Filipina in Elreen Ando also competed in the Asian tilt. She had a strong snatch round, coming up with a best of 99, like Diaz.

Ando, however, failed to log a single successful attempt in clean and jerk.

The Asian Weightlifting Championships is one of the qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Olympics, where both Diaz and Ando are fighting for a spot. They need to participate in at least five qualifiers and earn needed points to qualify. Diaz recently moved to the 59-kilogram division after Paris organizers scrapped the 55-kilogram group, where she won her Tokyo Olympics gold medal. 

Only one between Diaz and Ando, however, can make it, as rules only allow one participant per country.