July 22, 2024

Highly motivated Hidilyn Diaz shares her road map to 2024 Olympiad

Highly motivated Hidilyn Diaz shares her road map to 2024 Olympiad


Coming off a successful stint in last December’s World Weightlifting Championships in Bogota, Colombia, wherein she captured three gold medals, particularity in the snatch, clean and jerk, and total of the 55-kilogram division, Hidilyn Diaz already sounds upbeat talking about the lead-up to the Paris Games. In an interview with Noli Eala on the sports show Power and Play, she divulged a few important parts of her new Olympic bid.  

Since the quadrennial meet will no longer feature the 50-kilogram classification from which Diaz won the Philippines its lone Olympic gold, she now plans on competing in the 59-kilogram weight class should she qualify for the 2024 Olympics.  

‘Maglalaro ako sa 59 (kilograms)…. Kung 59 (kilograms), may chance tayo. Nakita ko naman ‘yung laban sa World Championships. Nakita ko na kaya at nakita na ng team na kaya ko talaga.’, Diaz said.

When it comes to the competitions that she’s eyeing to take part in this year, the Zamboanga City native has her sights laser-focused on the Olympic qualifying tournaments.

‘Pinili po namin na to really prepare for Olympic qualifying. ‘Yun ‘yung priorities. At the end of the day, ang finish line is Paris 2024. We choose quality over quantity. Kasi kung mas kaunti ang competition, mas makakapag-prepare at mas lalong ma-build up ‘yung strength at katawan na rin.’, Diaz revealed.

In line with the response, Hidilyn’s coach and husband Julius Naranjo, who was with her during the interview, also explained why they may not be able to join the national team in the upcoming SEA Games, and Asian Games as well.

‘At this moment, I can’t give a clear answer because it conflicts with the World Championship. And the Asian Games also is quite near to another competition that we are hoping to go for. At this moment, we’re still undecided. But seemingly so, it may not be possible for us to compete in those competitions, unless there’s a date change.’

Hidilyn Diaz is dead set on making it to the Paris Olympics. And it looks like a strategy that will allow her to succeed is already in place. But when asked about the motivation behind her continuous pursuit of excellence, her reply was heartfelt rather than calculated.

‘Ginagawa ko ‘to dahil kaya ko pa. Mahal ko ang sport ng weightlifting. And I want to serve as an inspiration sa mga kabataan, na hindi ibig sabihin na manalo ka ng gold medal sa Olympics, stop ka na. Hindi ibig sabihin na nagpakasal ka na, mag-stop ka na…. I know God has a purpose kung bakit nandito pa rin ako.’

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