Holiday break? No such thing for Team HD
Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo has decided to go up a weight class for Paris 2024 and had a glimpse of how formidable potential medal foes, China’s Luo Xiaomin and Yenny Alvarez of Colombia, will be.
The Filipino heroine then gamely declared optimism in hurdling the challenge.
Diaz-Naranjo’s possible swan song could come in glitzy Paris, France, in less than two years, where she will climb up to the 59-kilogram class after the 55-kg division she ruled in Tokyo, Japan, over Luo was scratched for the next Games.
“I watched the competition in the 59 kg, and from what I saw, I think I can do it,’’ said Diaz-Naranjo upon arrival from the recent International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Bogota, Colombia, where she broke her drought in the event with gold medals in the snatch, clean and jerk and total of the 55-kg division.
“There will be no holidays for me and my team. I will immediately go back to the gym and on Dec. 23 go to Jalajala, Rizal, to train with kids at the HD academy,’’ said Diaz-Naranjo.
A Worlds gold was the only thing missing in the collection of Diaz-Naranjo, who also has championships in the Asian Games, the Asian Championships and the Southeast Asian Games.
“It’s going to be hard, but I’ve already prepared a mindset focused on that,’’ said Diaz-Naranjo, aiming to qualify for a sixth consecutive Olympic Games set at the French capital less than two years from now.
Diaz-Naranjo ruled her class in Bogota with ease after lifting 93 kg in the snatch and 114 kg in the clean and jerk for a 207-kg total.