Asian Games

Hidilyn Diaz, Elreen Ando hope to lift PH to more golds in Asian Games

Delfin Dioquino

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Hidilyn Diaz, Elreen Ando hope to lift PH to more golds in Asian Games

JOLLY. Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines celebrates after a lift in the Tokyo Olympics.

Edgard Garrido/Reuters

Hidilyn Diaz looks to replicate her golden feat in the previous Asian Games, while Elreen Ado eyes her first medal in the continental showpiece

MANILA, Philippines – Hidilyn Diaz and her fellow weightlifters carry the hopes for additional gold medals in the Asian Games as the Philippines hunts for more after EJ Obiena captured the breakthrough mint in Hangzhou, China.

The Philippines’ first and only Olympic champion, Diaz sees action on Monday, October 2, at 3 pm in the women’s 59kg division, seeking to replicate her golden feat in the 2018 edition in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In Jakarta, Diaz captured one of the Philippines’ four gold medals as she reigned in the women’s 53kg for her maiden Asian Games crown.

This time, though, Diaz competes in the heavier 59kg category and against fearsome foes led by reigning world champion Luo Shifang of China.

Luo lifted a total of 243kg and completed a three-gold sweep in the recent World Weightlifting Championships in Saudi Arabia in September – a tournament where Diaz finished a distant seventh with a 224kg total.

Included in the Asian Games field are world championship silver medalist Kamila Konotop of Ukraine and world record holder Kuo Hsing-chun of Chinese Taipei.

The odds stacked against her, Diaz looks to pull off a surprise like she did when she stunned then-reigning world titlist Liao Qiuyun of China in the women’s 55kg in the Tokyo Games for the Philippines’ first Olympic gold.

Along with Diaz, Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando contends at 7 pm on Monday in the women’s 64kg division.

Originally competing in the same 59kg category as Diaz as she tries to qualify for the Paris Games, Ando returns to the 64kg class, where she won a silver medal in the Asian Athletics Championships in 2020.

Ando goes up against China’s Pei Xinyi, a former world champion; Mongolia’s Anuujin Ganzorig, the reigning Asian champion; and North Korea’s Rim Un-sim, a two-time silver medalist in the world championships.

Diaz and Ando also aim to score breakthrough weightlifting medals in Hangzhou after Rosegie Ramos placed fifth in the women’s 49kg and John Febuar Ceniza settled for fourth in the men’s 61kg. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.