One competition at a time for Hidilyn Diaz

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2021 04:02 PM

Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines
Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines. Edgard Garrido, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines -- Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz remains non-committal about competing in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, stressing that she will take things one at a time.

Diaz, 30, made history for the Philippines in the Tokyo Games when she ruled the women's 55kg weight class to become the country's first ever Olympic gold medalist.

Since then she has made it clear that she plans to continue her weightlifting career, but has not committed to competing in the 2024 Games in Paris. If she does so, it will be her fifth Olympics stint.

"Dapat, one at a time lang eh," Diaz said during an appearance at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum this week.

"First, world championship, titingnan ko, this year. November to December po 'yun eh. Then SEA Games, kung matutuloy din, then Asian Games," she explained. "Then 'yun, assess ulit."

"Titingnan ko kung may lakas pa, kaya pa, kaya pang mag-sakripisyo, then, go for it."

The weightlifting world championships is set for Lima, Peru in November, while this year's Southeast Asian Games, set to be hosted by Vietnam, has been postponed. The 2022 Asian Games, where Diaz is also the reigning gold medalist, is scheduled for September 10-25 in Hangzhou, China.

Diaz has been vocal about the amount of dedication and sacrifice that it took for her to finally top the Olympic podium.

She and her team were stuck in Malaysia for most of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was there that they trained for Diaz's Olympic campaign. In 2019, Diaz also revealed that she needed more financial support on her road to Tokyo.

Thus, Diaz said she will be careful in assessing if she wants to make another run come 2024.

"Siyempre, additional three years of sacrifices din po 'yun sa training," she pointed out. "Medyo mahirap kasi 'yung preparation."

"Titignan ko pa rin kung saan 'yung kaya, saan kaya ng katawan ko, saan kaya din ng coaches na mag-sakripisyo," she added. "Kasi at the end of the day, 'yung mindset, kung andoon pa rin ba, 'yung pagmamahal andoon pa rin ba, kaya pa bang mag-sakripisyo. So doon pa rin ako babalik."

Diaz, however, stressed that she believes she is still physically capable of competing at the highest level -- as proven by her record-breaking performance in Tokyo.

"I-assess ko muna po kung kaya pa. Kaya naman, pero 'yun, sacrifices po eh," she said.