Without Chinese lifters, Hidilyn’s chances rise
Sans the powerful Chinese lifters, chances are highly favorable for Hidilyn Diaz to seize the elusive gold medal in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Anaheim, California.
The country’s weightlifting celebrity left for the US late Saturday night to acclimatize ahead of the Nov. 28 to Dec. 5 competitions in an effort to improve on her bronze-medal performance two years ago in Houston, Texas.
Joining Diaz, who will compete in the women’s 53-kilogram division, are fellow Zamboanga City lifter Kristel Macrohon, Philippine Weightlifting Federation president Monico Puentevella, coach Tony Agustin and Philippine Sports Institute national training director Marc Edward Velasco.
“This is the last tournament for Hidilyn this year and we’re definitely aiming for a medal,” said Agustin, who is targeting a total lift of 210 kg for Diaz—90 kg in the snatch and 120 kg in the clean and jerk.
The Rio de Janeiro Olympic silver medalist lifted 213 kg in the 2015 Houston worlds and a personal-best of 214 kg in the 2015 Asian championships in Phuket, Thailand, for the gold.
Agustin promised Diaz will be in better shape in Anaheim than her silver feat in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (Aimag) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, last September where she lifted a total of 204 kg.
There are no Chinese lifters on the 53 kg start list with an entry from Chinese Taipei and a pair of Thais as the most likely competitors for the podium.
“I haven’t checked if the Chinese Taipei entry is the one (Hsu Shu-ching) who won the gold over Hidilyn in the Olympics,” said Agustin.
As for the 21-year-old Macrohon, Agustin is confident that she will surpass the 90-120 personal best for the snatch event and clean and jerk in the women’s 69 kg division.
Macrohon, who got a bronze medal in the Aimag, is aiming to carry a total of 220 kg—95 in the snatch and 125 in the clean and jerk.
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