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Hidilyn pursues Olympic dream in Tokyo

Rio Olympic veteran Hidilyn Diaz receives the ceremonial key to her Deca Homes unit awarded by Januario Jesus Atencio, president/CEO of 8990 Holdings. Others in photo are PSC chairman Butch Ramirez, POC president Peping Cojuangco and PSC commissioners Ramon Fernandez, Charles Maxey and Celia Kiram. JUN MENDOZA

MANILA, Philippines – Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz insisted that despite the immense fame and fortune she enjoys nowadays, she remains committed to her role as weightlifter and top gold medal prospect in the 2020 Olympiad.

“Hindi natin masasabi kung ano’ng mangyayari in the future pero gusto ko talagang maglaro sa Tokyo 2020 so committed naman ako doon, gagawin ko ang lahat (We don’t know what might happen in the future but I truly want to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I’m committed to that and I’ll give it my all),” said Diaz.

Yesterday, the 25-year-old Diaz received the latest in a series of rewards that’s coming her way for her feat in Rio – a house and lot from 8990 Holdings-Deca Homes. Prior to this, the heroine received P5-million from RA 10699, another P2 million from President Duterte, P500,000 from Zamboanga City, and more cash bonuses from lawmakers. There’s also a scholarship grant, equipment, free airline tickets, sports apparel from some private companies.

Diaz had made guest appearances on TV programs, triggering fears showbiz may take her away from sports. “Priority ko talaga training (Training is still my top priority),” she stressed.

Diaz was given a two-month rest by the Philippine Weightlifting Association (PWA) but said she couldn’t resist the call of weightlifting and hit the gym and lifted light weights this week.

“Hindi ko kaya mag-rest, na-miss ko ang barbell ko kaya nag-train na ako (I can’t stand resting and not lifting weights so I started training again),” said the Zamboanga ace, who might compete in an invitational tournament in Qatar this December.

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Diaz’ house and lot at Deca Homes in Clark – a one-story unit on a 53 square meter lot estimated at P450,000 – was made possible by the memorandum of agreement signed yesterday by 8990 Holdings, Inc. president and CEO JJ Atencio and Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez.

Under the agreement, mass housing company Deca Homes committed to award house and lot to medalists in Rio. It also earmarked cash tokens of P10,000 to each of the delegates in Rio.

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