Filipina weightlifting heroine Hidilyn Diaz boosted her chances for another Olympic Games stint after clinching the silver medal late Monday, April 22, in the 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships held in Ningbo, China.
The event was a continental meet that served as a qualifier to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where the reigning Asian Games champion participated in a heavier weight class (55 kilograms) as compared to the previous category she used to join in (53 kilograms) that was scrapped.
Despite the move up, the Zamboangueño didn’t seem to flinch under the weight; she carried 94 kilograms in the snatch and followed it up with a 115 lift in the clean and jerk. She totalled a 209-kilogram lift, enough to place her on the medal podium.
It was in the 2016 Summer Olympics (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) where Diaz ended the Philippines’ 20-year Olympic drought as she won the silver medal in the women’s 53-kilogram weight division. Her previous two Olympics participations were back in 2008 (Beijing, China) and in 2012 (London, England).
While the 28-year old athlete improved the likelihood of her Olympic appearance, she admits that there is still much to work on. As per the new rules, qualification for the next Olympiad will be based on performances in six events over an 18-month period.
The next qualifier will be the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships, to be held from September 18 to 27 in Pattaya, Thailand.
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