Weightlifting celebrity Hidilyn Diaz is aspiring to become the only Filipino decorated with four consecutive trips to the Olympics as an athlete.
The Rio de Janeiro silver medalist takes that first big step on the long road to the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo when she competes in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) 2017 Weightlifting World Championships late this month in Anaheim, California.
“It will be a great accomplishment if I can play in Tokyo,” said Diaz, who wore the national colors in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games before her silver feat in Rio last year.
“But first, I have to qualify by gaining points to meet the quota set for Asian weightlifters,” added the 26-year-old pride of Zamboanga City.
The Anaheim world championships from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5 will serve as one of the qualifying tournaments that Diaz needs to join.
She recently brought home a silver medal from the 5th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, behind gold medalist Liao Qiuyun of China.
At that time, Diaz lifted 90 kilos in the snatch and 115 kg in the clean and jerk for a second-best 204-kg total in the women’s 53kg division.
But on a good day and with continuous training, Diaz swore she can carry plates heavier than her usual capacity.
“I know I can do it. It’s just a matter of focusing on training,” said Diaz, who scooped three bronze medals in the 2015 world championships in Houston with a combined lift of 213kg.
In Rio, Hsu Shu-Ching of Chinese Taipei won the gold in their weight category with a total lift of 212kg while Diaz seized the silver with a 200kg effort.
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