Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz formally secured her spot in the Tokyo Olympics after competing in the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Sunday afternoon.
The event is Diaz's sixth Olympic qualifying event, completing her requirements for a spot in the Tokyo Games.
Diaz is competing in the Olympics for the fourth time in her glittering career, having made her debut in 2008 in Beijing. She also played in London in 2012, and won silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Diaz would have secured her spot in March 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic forced a stop to virtually all sports last year. The weightlifter has spent the past year in Malaysia, where she has continued training with her team.
Diaz is now the seventh Filipino athlete to clinch a ticket to the Tokyo Games, joining boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, gymnast Caloy Yulo, and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
Aside from Diaz, there are eight other Filipino weightlifters in the Asian event -- 2020 IWF Online Youth World Cup gold medalist Vanessa Sarno, Roma World Cup podium finisher John Fabuar Ceniza, 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Kristel Macrohon, Elreen Ann Ando, Mary Flor Diaz, Margaret Colonia, John Dexter Tabique, and Elien Rose Perez.
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