Hidilyn Diaz ‘still happy’ after fourth place at Asian Games
HANGZHOU, China—Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo is far from disappointed despite coming up short from climbing the podium in the 19th Asian Games on Monday.
Diaz-Naranjo, forced to make a switch to a heavier weight in her bid in next year’s Paris Olympics, finished fourth in the women’s 59kg category after lifting a total of 223 kilograms at the Xiaoshan Sports Centre Gymnasium.
North Korea’s Kim Ilgyong grabbed the gold medal after shattering all the records available in every tournament on the planet.
The 20-year-old lifter pulled the bar to 111kgs in the snatch and carried 133 in the clean and jerk for a total of 246, setting a new world record and continental standard in both elite and junior divisions.
“All of them are strong, but I’m still happy. At the end of the day, it’s Paris 2024 that matters,” said Diaz-Naranjo, who used the continental meet to gauge her opposition in the coming Olympics.
China’s Luo Shifang was unseated as Asian champion and settled for the silver following a 240 effort on the strength of a 107 in the snatch and 126 in the clean and jerk.
Hsing Chun Kuo of Chinese Taipei completed the podium with a 227 lift despite an injured left knee.
Diaz-Naranjo, the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal two years ago in Tokyo, posted 97 in the snatch and 126 in the clean and jerk, but failed to lift 100 and 131 in these two events, respectively.
“So far, so good. You saw that I attempted at 100 and 131. It’s my first time trying them and it made me realize how I’ve become stronger,” said Diaz-Naranjo. “Just a few more kilos and I’ll be moving closer to getting into the top 5.”
The 32-year-old Filipino weightlifting heroine is eyeing for a fifth consecutive appearance in the Olympics.
Diaz-Naranjo has already finished three of the five tournaments necessary to make it to Paris and seeks to complete the qualifying journey with a pair of world cups in Doha, Qatar this December and in Thailand in February.