Olympics: In fourth Games, Hidilyn Diaz goes for glory anew

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2021 01:03 AM

Olympics: In fourth Games, Hidilyn Diaz goes for glory anew 1

Five years after making history in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz looks to improve upon her silver medal when she competes in the women's 55kg division in weightlifting at the Tokyo Games.

Diaz had ended a 20-year medal drought for the Philippines when she won silver in Rio, and she hopes to give the country a breakthrough gold in what would be her fourth Olympics. 

"It's a lot of pressure," Diaz said ahead of her trip to Tokyo.

The road to gold will be far from easy, however. Standing in Diaz's way is China's top-ranked lifter Liao Qiuyun, the world champion who holds the records in the division.

In the 2019 World Championships in Thailand, Liao lifted 129kg in the clean and jerk to set a new world record. Her total lift of 227kg was also a world record; Diaz won bronze in the event.

However, Diaz's strength and conditioning coach, Julius Naranjo, is confident that Diaz can pull off some surprises.

"You will expect Hidilyn to lift weights you've never seen before," he said. "She's on track. She's going to put on a show."

Naranjo added that Diaz has been hitting new personal marks this late in her career, a good sign as she prepares to bolster the Philippines' medal hopes in the Summer Games.

Diaz's campaign starts at 6:50 p.m. in the Philippines at the Tokyo International Forum. 

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