MANILA, Philippines -- Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz plans to re-evaluate her career after the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, but she is not closing the door on competing in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Diaz has already reached the pinnacle of her sport after winning the gold in the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, in what was her fourth appearance in the Summer Games.
It was earlier hinted that the Tokyo Games may be Diaz's swansong, but her historic feat in the women's 55kg class showed Diaz that she has plenty left in the tank.
"Plano ko pa rin pong maglaro sa SEA Games and Asian Games," Diaz told Karen Davila on ANC's Headstart on Thursday morning.
The Southeast Asian Games, originally set for November 2021 in Hanoi, Vietnam, has been postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19 issues.
The Asian Games, meanwhile, is set in Hangzhou for September.
Diaz also told the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) in an online forum on Thursday that she plans to compete in the World Weightlifting Championships, scheduled for November in Lima, Peru.
"Titingnan ko kung hanggang saan na lang ang kaya ko after ng Asian Games, kung kaya pa," Diaz said on ANC.
"Kasi sa ngayon, nasa peak ako eh. 'Di din ako makapaniwala na makapag-clean and jerk ako ng 127, tapos mag-snatch ako ng 97, at the age of 30 years old," she added, referring to the weights she lifted at the Tokyo International Forum on Monday night.
"So sabi ko, hindi 'yan sa age, sa pag-alaga 'yan ng katawan, at alam ng team ko, ng Team HD, ang galing nila."
As for the 2024 Games in Paris, Diaz said she will take stock of her own body and see if she believes she can still compete at the highest level.
"Di ko masabi kung maglalaro ako sa Paris. Kasi iba na po ang qualifying ng Paris kasi medyo bawas ang quota ng weightlifting, nasa 120 lang po, so medyo mahirap pumasok," she explained.
"Pero kung kaya ng katawan, bakit hindi? Kung kaya pa lumaban, bakit hindi?"
Another reason that Diaz wants to keep competing is to ensure that more athletes will follow in her footsteps. She told Davila that she wants to put together a project for up-and-coming weightlifters to train with her, with the help of both the government and the private sector.
"Ayaw kong umalis sa weightlifting na walang susunod sa akin," she said. "Sana mas marami pang medalist galing sa weightlifting, hindi lang ako mag-isa."
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