Gao’s spot on Team HD for Paris not sure
TOKYO—Who knew a golden moment could cost Hidilyn Diaz a valuable member of her famed Team HD?
The attention generated by Diaz winning the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal in history has put a lot of focus on the man the weightlifting champion has credited much of her success to: Chinese mentor Gao Kaiwen.
“The weightlifting world is now looking at coach Gao,” Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair William “Butch” Ramirez told Filipino reporters on Friday. “Mind you, his credentials now look brighter with Hidilyn’s success here.”
And a lot of interested countries have fatter wallets.
According to PSC chief of staff Marc Velasco, Gao receives a monthly salary of $2,500 via a contract that ends in December this year.
When that pact expires, Gao can command offers of as much as four times that amount.
“Compared to the other countries which offer as much as $10,000 a month for their athletes’ foreign coaches, there are no guarantees that Coach Gao would be remaining with Hidilyn in case she returns to training for the Paris 2024 Olympics,” Ramirez said.
In Team HD, Gao is more than just a coach who has vastly improved Diaz’s technique.
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