Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn’s Asiad gold medal bid gets boost on China ban
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - December 11, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz will have one less worry when she seeks a gold medal in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia next year as powerhouse China was banned for a year due to doping.

Diaz, who took home a silver and a bronze medal in the World Championships in Anaheim, California in the United States last week, said the Chinese weightlifters will not be able to participate in the Asiad slated Aug. 18 to Sep. 2 after the International Weightlifting Federation started to implement the one-year ban last October.

“China will not participate in the Asian Games so we have one less country to think about there,” said Diaz, who also plucked a silver in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, in Filipino yesterday.

China, one of the best, if not the best, weightlifting country in the world, was one among nine countries suspended from the sport for a year as part of the IWF’s fight against the doping epidemic.

Diaz, however, said the field remained strong with Rio Olympic gold medal winner Hsu Shu Chin of Chinese Taipei and World Championship titlist Sopita Tanasan of Thailand joining.

“Of course, it will still be tough because we have strong opponents from Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Korea and Japan,” she said.

Diaz said she will take a four-week break from training and will resume preparation on Jan. 8 next year.

Diaz said she is eyeing not just to medal in the Asiad but also to gain important points towards 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualification.   

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