In scathing letter, Hidilyn Diaz airs frustration over state of PH weighlifting


Posted at Sep 26 2018 06:29 PM | Updated as of Sep 28 2018 09:48 AM

Hidilyn Diaz said she wants to see changes made in the national governing body for weightlifting, including the removal of its president. File/Reuters

Hidilyn Diaz said she wants to see changes made in the national governing body for weightlifting, including a new leadership.

In a letter dated September 21 and addressed to Butch Ramirez, chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission, the reigning Asian Games champion said "it is frustrating to witness the state of weightlifting in our country after I won in (the) 2016 Rio Olympics."

Diaz added: "Mr. Monico Puentevella is creating further misfortune to our sport . . . He must voluntarily do what is right. He must undergo election process if he really wants to be the president (of the Philippine Weightlifting Association)."

Here is a copy of the full letter:


According to Diaz, she wants to stick it out with Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen, who trained her all the way to the 2018 Asian Games gold medal last month in Indonesia.

“Ang laki ng naibigay niya sa akin,” Diaz said fresh off her win in Jakarta, referring to Gao, who only joined their team in June but immediately made an impact on their technique and training methodology.

In the letter, Diaz said the coach being assigned to her, Antonio Agustin, won't cut it as she prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"I want to be surrounded with positive people in my core team," Diaz said.

"I think my former coach Antonio Agustin is no longer suitable to be part of it because he is not open to the idea of working with my core team.

"I tried to understand and lower my standard in training and in life but I got stuck in my life, my performances decreased and I lost my confidence in the process."

Puentevella said his critics are using Diaz as part of an effort to oust him and put themselves in power.

"Saan ba siya nagsimula? Sino ang nagdala sa kaniya sa Olympics? Ako naman, di ba?" Puentevella said.

"That's why naawa ako sa kaniya dahil ginagamit siya ng ibang tao sa paligid niya. May 22 akong mga atleta tapos papaalisin ang coach? Twenty-two sila, isa lang siya. Kinakailangan ang programa naming, 15 na kami.

"Hindi naman siya nagreklamo dati, ngayong sikat na siya at mas mayaman ng P20 million, magrereklamo siya?"

Diaz said she has been judged for being "mayabang" and has endured "several personal prejudice" as she sought more support for training.

"I felt the obligation to uplift and promote weightlifting in the country," Diaz said as a result of her silver-medal finish in the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

"I expected a lot of changes in weightlifting but sadly I saw some people who only use weightlifting for their own benefits and not for the benefits of our sports and athletes."

— With a report from Mitch Lipa, ABS-CBN News

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