Hidilyn determined to be an inspiration
STAR/ File
Hidilyn determined to be an inspiration
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz is determined to strike gold in Tokyo next year in what may be her final bow in the quadrennial Olympics.

Diaz, who marked the fourth anniversary of her silver medal feat in Rio recently, is soldiering on despite the difficulty of training away from home amid the pandemic.

“Kailangan pag-igihan. I’m not doing this just to qualify for the Olympics, gusto kong manalo talaga for the Philippines and also give more inspiration to our countrymen,” Diaz said in Monday’s Sports Page show on One Sports.

The pride of Zamboanga ranks fourth in IWF’s Olympic Qualification Ranking List for the -53kg class. She’s expected to officially qualify by competing in the next qualification tourney.

Diaz, who is currently based in Malaysia, has an extra year to prepare and she’s thankful to the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation for adding P1.5 million for her stretched-out program.

The 29-year-old Diaz sets out to make her fourth Olympiad appearance in Tokyo.

Asked whether she plans that to be her swan song in the quadrennial Games, Diaz said she’s still unsure.

“Honestly, I don’t know. I do look forward to 2021 SEA Games but as to the 2024 Olympics, it’s still up in the air,” she said. “I want to have my own family, get a degree, live a normal life.”

She noted how an athlete sacrifices a lot. “Buong buhay namin binigay namin sa Olympics for four years. After that what’s next? Kung manalo sa Olympics ng gold, ano nang next sa akin, di ba?” she said.

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