Hidilyn Diaz targets gold at 2020 Olympics

Naveen Ganglani
Hidilyn Diaz targets gold at 2020 Olympics
Diaz, the newest hero in Philippine sports, returns to the country on Thursday

MANILA, Philippines – Filipina Olympian Hidilyn Diaz just entered her name in the record books of Philippine sports history, thanks to her performance in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but she’s already aiming for even higher goals when the next summer games arrive in 2020.

Diaz, who won the silver medal in the women’s 53kg division of the weightlifting competition in Rio De Janeiro this past week, arrived in the Philippines on Emirates Flight 332 with fellow Olympian Nestor Colonia and coach Alfonsito Aldanete on Thursday, August 11, and told the media she has no plans of retiring.

Parang ayaw ko na pong mag-retire,” said Diaz at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3. 

(I don’t feel like retiring.)

Kasi ngayon pa lang po nami-miss ko na ang pagbubuhat, so, Tokyo po,” she added, indicating her desire to join the next Olympiad 4 years from now in Japan. It would be the Zamboanga City native’s fourth Olympic stint.

(Because I already miss lifting now, so, Tokyo.)

Diaz, who will receive a P5-million check for her accomplishment in Brazil, said that finishing first is the goal next time around.

Siguro hindi na ako papayag na silver lang. Gusto ko gold na. Tokyo, oo po. Siyempre, pipilitin ko,” she said.

Kaya ko pa, kung susuportahan ako. With complete strength and conditioning, rehab, todo,” added the 25-year-old, who lifted a total of 200kg to win the silver.

(I guess I won’t settle for just silver. I want to win the gold. Tokyo, yes. Of course, I’ll push myself. I can still do it, if I’ll be supported.)

PROUD. Hidilyn Diaz shows her silver medal to the media. Photo by Mary Dela Serna/Rappler

Diaz’s medal was the first by a Philippine athlete in the Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, where Onyok Velasco also finished second in the light flyweight division of the boxing event. The Philippines has yet to win a gold medal.

After the press conference, Diaz boarded a 7:45 pm flight to Davao City for a courtesy call with President Rodrigo Duterte at the presidential guesthouse in Panacan.

Excited po ako, tapos, siyempre, honored na ipakita kay President Digong and medalya kong ito,”Diaz said about the upcoming meeting.

(I’m excited, and, of course, honored to show President Digong my medal.) – Rappler.com

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