Olympic silver medalist Diaz to join World Weightlifting Championship
By Jean T. Malanum
MANILA, Dec. 24 (PNA) -- Olympian Hidilyn Diaz will compete in next year's World Weightlifting Championship in Anaheim, California.
It will be Diaz's third time to join the tournament organized by the International Weightlifting Federation. The first was in Paris, France in 2011 where she finished sixth, and the second in Houston, Texas last year where she won the bronze medals in the snatch (96kg), clean and jerk (117kg), and total (213kg) events in the women's 53kg division.
Diaz's performance in Houston helped her qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games where she won the silver medal. She also won three golds at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Phuket, Thailand last year.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Weightlifting Association (PWA) are extending full support to the Zamboangueña's bid to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Aside from the US trip, Diaz will see action in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
"Hidilyn Diaz is in top form. I am optimistic she can win the elusive Olympic gold in Tokyo," said veteran coach and PWA vice president Elbert Atilano.
Atilano, who heads the Universidad de Zamboanga Weightlifting Training Center, was responsible for molding Diaz into a world-class athlete.
For his part, PSC chairman William Ramirez said his agency is committed to support the training of Diaz.
“Diaz is a jewel in weightlifting. PSC will support her until she achieves the ultimate goal of winning the gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Ramirez. (PNA)