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Hidilyn Diaz begins chase for elusive world weightlifting gold medal

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Hidilyn Diaz begins chase for elusive world weightlifting gold medal
Hidilyn Diaz
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines – After her Tokyo Olympics brilliance and Hanoi Southeast Asian Games domination, Hidilyn Diaz is ripe for another glorious moment.

Eyeing to capture the gold medal in the one event that eluded her, Diaz sets out on a mission to reign supreme for the first time in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Bogota, Colombia.

The 31-year-old Olympic gold winner is scheduled to see action in the women’s 55-kilogram division early today and would be gunning not just her breakthrough mint here but also precious qualifying points to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Diaz had won the Olympic gold as well as the SEA Games and Asian Games mints, but never the Worlds where her best effort was a bronze finish that she did thrice.

If the stars align and Diaz is in good form, Bogota could be her first.

“This is the first qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, a prelude to the real one,” said Samahang Weightlfting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, who was with Diaz and the national team in Bogota.

“We hope to bring home some medals. Barring injuries, we’re ready,” he added.

The country, however, got off to a bad start as Nestor Colonia wound up seventh in snatch (110kg), total (243kg) and eighth in clean and jerk (133kg).

Rosegie Ramos and Lovely Inan were also entered in the women’s 49kg class but did not even finish in the top eight.

Olympian Elreen Ando will plunge into action Saturday morning in the 59kg while Asian and SEA Games champion Vanessa Sarno and Kristel Macrohon will compete in the same division at 71kg on Tuesday.

Interestingly, Diaz will seek an Olympic spot in the heavier weight category that Ando is competing at as the 55kg category was scrapped from the Paris calendar.

But that’s another worry Diaz would like to set aside for now as she has focused on nothing less than striking gold at 55kg.

HIDILYN DIAZ

WEIGHTLIFTING

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