Work never stops for Hidilyn Diaz.
Through a series of Instagram videos, the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist showed her top form by hitting a new personal record in back squat.
In her post, she said that it’s taken her quite some time to reach that level again.
“It has been about 10 months since I have touched weights this heavy. This is a lifetime PR for me in the back squat at 161kg,” she said.
BACK ON TRACK
With most parts of the world on lockdown or imposing quarantine measures, many athletes were forced to hit pause on their Olympic preparations. Not Diaz and her team, though. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they found ways to keep in shape during quarantine.
The 29-year-old was in the middle of her training in Malaysia when countries started to enforce travel bans. She has been stuck there for about 4 months now, with no clear return date.
Despite the uncertainty, she’s using this time to fasttrack preparations for her next event. And all the hard work has been paying off so far.
Diaz said she considers her latest achievement a step in the right direction.
“I did not expect to be able to lift this weight and you can tell in my face how heavy the weight feels for me. But I am happy I am able to lift the weights and we are getting back on progress,” she said.
That’s how it felt like after watching the videos.
Emotions ran high as she lifted the weights on her back, the perfect metaphor for her ultimate goal.
“Team HD has been a blessing during this pandemic, because they have kept me focused and have allowed me to not lose sight of the Philippines dream of its first gold medal in the Olympics next summer,” she wrote, thanking her team for supporting her despite the unfavorable circumstances.
She also found another ally that’s been supporting them throughout their stay.
“I also want to thank the Malaysian Weightlifting Team for taking care of us here in Malaysia and allowing us to train with them,” Diaz said.
Aside from her training, the weightlifter has also been busy posting home workouts online, including some DIY workout equipment.
And even though she’s thousands of miles away from home, she has still found a way to help Filipinos in need.
Last April 12, she organized a weightlifting seminar with her team, which raised P156,312.13, helping out hundreds of families in Zamboanga, Cavite and Metro Manila.
A few months back, the International Olympic Committee officially postponed the Tokyo Games to 2021.
With an additional year to prepare, there is growing confidence that Diaz can finally bring something that the country has all been yearning to get: the Philippines’ first Olympic gold.
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