Kuala Lumpur lockdown forces Diaz’s relocation
Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz cannot afford a pause in training even in the face of a lockdown to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading.
The country’s weightlifting heroine said in an online interview that she was forced to pack her things and moved to Malacca, a city roughly 120 kilometers away from her previous base, after Kuala Lumpur has been put into quarantine due to the increasing statistics of COVID-19 infections.
“We traveled here to Malacca because of the lockdown in Kuala Lumpur and we intend to set up camp here,’’ Diaz said in Filipino.
Diaz, forced to stay in Malaysia for the past nine months due to the pandemic, pointed out that she could not allow herself to cease training because prolonged rest would pull her back to square one.
“I have to continue with my regular routine. I know the feeling that if you miss training for a week or two, it would mean going back to zero again,’’ Diaz said.
“My numbers are good before the lockdown [in Kuala Lumpur], I was able to achieve my personal best,’’ Diaz added.
She is currently No. 5 in the 55kg women’s category in the world rankings with 3,717 points behind four Chinese weightlifters in No. 1 Jiang Huihua (4,667 points), Liao Qiuyun (4,288), Zhang Wanqiong (4,212) and Li Yajuan (4,099).
Only one of these Chinese women lifters will be allowed to see action in the Tokyo Olympics slated July 23 to Aug. 8.
According to Diaz, she was able to witness the performance of one of these Chinese lifters. She did not mention who.
“I saw one of them compete last month. She is not that strong in the snatch, so that’s one area that I think I should improve on,’’ Diaz said.
Diaz, whose personal best is a combined lift of 226 kg, (123kg on and 103kg in snatch), should compete in one more Olympic qualifying tournament to seal her fourth straight Olympics appearance.
She was supposed to secure her spot in the Tokyo Summer Games in an Olympic qualifier in Cali, Colombia, which was canceled early this year.
Officially qualified for the Olympics are EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo and boxers Irish Magno and Eumir Marcial.
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