Hidilyn Diaz's 59kg debut in Asian Championships still a 'success' | Inquirer Sports

Hidilyn Diaz’s 59kg debut in Asian Championships still a ‘success’

/ 07:14 PM May 08, 2023

hidilyn diaz asian championships 2023 women's 59kg snatch

Hidilyn Diaz’s lift in snatch in the 2023 Asian weightlifting championships in Jinju, Korea.

MANILA, Philippines—Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo competed in a division far from her usual in the 2023 Asian Weightlifting Championship at Jinju, South Korea on Sunday and missed out on a podium finish.

But the Olympic gold medalist’s first try in the 59-kilogram division was still “success” despite the fourth-place finish, said Diaz-Najarno’s coach and husband Julius Naranjo, as her ultimate goal remains to qualify for Paris and win another medal.

Diaz-Naranjo won the Philippines’ first gold medal in the Olympics in the 55-kg category, which has been scrapped for the Paris.

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“This was a successful campaign because we’ve overcome a lot to get here. Injuries, setbacks, and naysayers,” Naranjo said in an Instagram post.

“Winning isn’t always medaling, winning is giving our all and making the climb to the top.”

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A post shared by Julius Irvin 光る Naranjo 🇬🇺🇵🇭🇯🇵 (@imjulius)

Diaz-Naranjo recorded a total lift of 221kg over the weekend behind below bronze medalist Kuo Hsing-Chun of Chinese Taipei with 230kg.

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China’s Luo Shifang took home the gold medal with a total of 238kg while fellow Chinese Pei Xinyi completed the podium with her silver medal (236kgs).

Diaz remained on track with her goal for a fifth straight Olympics stint. Weightlifters look to finish in the top eight in their division to automatically qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

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“It’s important to remember that the qualification system is based on total and not on points. We’ve improved our qualification ranking by 14kg from 207kg to 221kg a modest increase,” Naranjo said.

Diaz-Naranjo also stayed optimistic saying that Paris is the same goal even after the defeat in the Asian Championships.

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“I’ve been living with doubts and fears, not to mention dealing with injuries and pain for the past seven months. It has made me question if #Paris2024 is still meant for me. But you know what? Despite all the challenges, the dream of competing and winning another Gold medal in the Paris 2024 Olympics is not only #TeamHD’s dream, it’s our dream, for our country,” she wrote in an Instagram post of her own.

“It’s clear that this Olympic pursuit is our dream. Let’s conquer these challenges together,” she concluded.

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TAGS: Asian Weightlifting Championships

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