Tashkent event to pave Diaz’s road to Olympics

(The Freeman) - January 20, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Seeing action in an Olympic qualifying tournament slated on April 15-25 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan will serve as Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz’s final ticket to this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Being No.2 in the world rankings, the 28-year-old Diaz is practically assured of one of the eight spots in the women’s 55 kgs. division.

However, the pride of Zamboanga City needs to complete all the required six International Weightlifting Federation-sanctioned events to make it to the quadrennial games scheduled on July 23 to August 8.

As of now, Diaz has already competed in five Olympic qualifiers.

That means Diaz only needs to step on the mat in the Tashkent tilt to officially qualify for the prestigious sports conclave that will happen only once in four years.

Barring any hitches, Diaz will be the Philippines’ fifth official representative to the Tokyo Games after boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.

Diaz, who ended the country’s 20-year medal drought after clinching a historic silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games in Brazil, could be the answer to the Phl’s age-old dream of winning its first ever Olympic gold. — EBV

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