PH lifter Diaz officially gets third Olympic stint
Lifter Hidilyn Diaz finally got the go-signal from the International Weightlifting Federation to carry the national colors in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Honorary Asian weightlifting president Monico Puentevella said that IWF president Tamas Ajan confirmed the official participation of Diaz Sunday, a week after fellow lifter Nestor Colonia got certified by the world governing body in the sport to compete in Rio.
According to Puentevella, the former president of the Philippine Weightlifting Association and a director in the IWF, it will be the first time that two Filipino lifters will go to the Olympics.
“Hidilyn is also on her third Olympic performance and I believe it’s another first for Philippine sports,” Puentevella told the Inquirer.
Diaz, 25, participated in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games when she became the country’s flag-bearer. The Rio Olympics is scheduled Aug.5-21.
The pride of Zamboanga City began lifting those heavy metal plates at 16 years old and was a product of the PWA grassroots program.
Puentevella expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Olympic Committee, the Zamboanga weightlifting association and the MVP Sports Foundation for helping the association during the qualifying tournaments of both Diaz and Colonia.
Diaz sealed her Rio stint when she brought home a silver medal and two bronzes in the 2016 Asian Weightlifting Championships held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan almost three months ago.
Although the IWF rewarded the Philippines with at least one female spot in the Olympics, the international body hasn’t formally announced the confirmation of Diaz until Sunday./rga