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Hidilyn Diaz to train in Malaysia anew for world championships

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 05:23 PM August 17, 2021
Philippines' Hidilyn Diaz competes in the women's 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021.

Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz competes in the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines–Hidilyn Diaz has been soaking up the victory for some time and it won’t be long until the nation’s first Olympic gold medalist goes back on the mat and hurdle her next challenge.

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella divulged on Tuesday that Diaz would resume training on September 20 in Malaysia, her training ground for 18 months prior to the Tokyo Olympics.

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“They are planning to go back to Malaysia next month and train for the world championships in November,’’ said Puentevella during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum.

The 2021 IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) World Championships is set November 1 in Lima, Peru.

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From among the gold medals that the 30-year-old collected, victory in the world championships has become elusive for the Filipino lifting heroine for quite some time.

The world championships are different from the 2020 Roma World Cup where Diaz nailed three gold medals in the snatch, clean and jerk and total.

Diaz brought home three silvers in the 2015 edition of the world champs in Houston, claimed a silver (clean and jerk) and one bronze (total) in Anaheim 2017, and a pair of silvers in 2019 Thailand, but she has yet to strike gold in the tournament.

Puentevella said Diaz would return to Malaysia with strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo, who will step into the head coaching portfolio. Chinese coach Gao Kaiwan, one of the chief architects of Diaz’s Olympic triumph, will be rehired as consultant.

“Once I return to Manila, I will talk to (Philippine Sports Commission) Chairman (William) Ramirez and request for a Chinese coach since coach Gao will become a consultant for Hidilyn,’’ said Puentevella, who is currently in Las Vegas supporting Senator Manny Pacquiao in his latest fight.

But the moment the Chinese government turned down his request, Puentevella said he would rely on the local weightlifting federation’s pool of local coaches.

“I’m not worried if China doesn’t give us a coach, because we also have good Filipino coaches,’’ said Puentevella.

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He mentioned that he doesn’t know the attitude of China and if Gao could still return after Diaz stunned world champion lifter Liao Qiuyun of China for the Olympic gold.

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