Tokyo Olympics

Hidilyn Diaz officially enters Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Beatrice Go

OLYMPIC RETURN. Hidilyn Diaz finally seals her long-awaited return to the Olympics.

Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

Philippine weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz secures her fourth straight Olympic appearance

Hidilyn Diaz secured her spot in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Sunday, April 18, in the 2021 Asian Weightlifting Championships at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Diaz, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, recorded a 94kg in the snatch and 118kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 212kg that nailed her fourth straight appearance in the quadrennial meet. The Philippine weightlifting star finished 4th overall in the event.

Diaz’s official return to the Olympics got delayed when the March 2020 qualifier she was set to join in Cali, Colombia didn’t push through as the country imposed a travel ban on Asians and Europeans at the height of the pandemic.

She only needed then to compete in one more Olympic qualifying tournament, regardless of the medal outcome, to seal her bid. But the travel restrictions left her stranded in Malaysia, where she trained for 14 months.

The 30-year-old Diaz becomes the seventh Filipino to qualify in the Tokyo Games after EJ Obiena (pole vault), Carlos Yulo (gymnastics), and Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam, and Nesthy Petecio (boxing).

Diaz had virtually qualified for the Olympics as she ranks No. 5 in the women’s 55kg category  with 3,717.0982 points behind Chinese weightlifters Jiang Huihua (4,667.8878), Liao Qiuyun (4,288.9622), Zhang Wangqiong (4,212.6639), and Li Yajun (4,099.0223).

But since only one lifter can represent a country per event in the Olympics, Diaz takes the No. 2 spot. 

Diaz – who also competed in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics – is riding on a three-gold conquest in the 2020 Roma World Cup and a Southeast Asian Games golden performance in December 2019.

Her cousin Mary Flor Diaz competed in the women’s 49kg division and took home 3 silvers from the event.  – Rappler.com 

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.