Hidilyn DIaz won't compete in AIMAG

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2021 04:37 PM | Updated as of Sep 22 2021 06:15 PM

Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz arrives for the Thanksgiving Mass for Olympic medalists in Tagaytay. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.
Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz arrives for the Thanksgiving Mass for Olympic medalists in Tagaytay. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News.

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz will not take part in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) that will take place in Thailand next year, as weightlifting is not part of the competition's program.

This, as Thailand is indefinitely suspended by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for multiple doping violations and thus cannot organize or take part in weightlifting events.

Thailand did not compete in weightlifting in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games hosted by the Philippines, as well as in the Tokyo Olympics.

Diaz won a silver medal in the 2017 edition of the AIMAG in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. She went on to win a gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia before making history by claiming the country's first-ever Olympic gold in Tokyo.

But Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino assured that Diaz can still represent the country in other events.

"Yes, (weightlifting is) not in AIMAG," he said in a message to ABS-CBN News. "But there will be weightlifting in the Asian Games in September."

The AIMAG will be held on March 10-22 in Bangkok and Chonburi, while the Asian Games are set for September 10-25 in Hangzhou, China.

There will be 29 sports and two demo sports in the AIMAG next year. The POC initially announced that it will send 160 athletes to the competition.

The 21 sports where Filipino athletes are entered in Thailand are aquatics, 3x3 basketball, billiards, bowling, chess, dancesport, esports, indoor athletics, indoor rowing, jiu-jitsu, karate, kickboxing, kurash, muay, pencak silat, sambo, sepak takraw, shooting, skateboarding, taekwondo, and wrestling.