Hopes high Diaz can end PH medal drought
AMONG the Filipino athletes expected to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, lifter Hidilyn Diaz has the closest shot at breaking the country’s medal drought in the quadrennial Games.
The 25-year-old Diaz had consistently bagged bronze medals in the women’s 53-kilogram category of the world and Asian championships.
“Hidilyn has shown a lot of promise in previous tournaments,” said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) official Romy Magat, who closely monitors the progress of Diaz and fellow lifter Nestor Colonia.
Diaz and Colonia are cocooned in a
40-hectare mountaintop training center in Fujian, China for 72 days and will return to Manila just a week before the opening of the set on Aug. 5 to 21 Games.
According to Magat, world-class coaches in China’s national weightlifting training center are handling world No. 3 Diaz and Colonia.
Diaz scooped bronze medals in the snatch (96 kg), clean and jerk (117 kg) and total (213 kg) in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championship in Texas last year.
The 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympian also pocketed a silver in the clean and jerk and two bronze medals in the snatch and total (208 kg) in the Asian Weightlifting Championship in Uzbekistan two months ago.
The country’s last Olympic medal was a silver courtesy of boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco during the 1996 Atlanta Games.
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