Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz not retiring yet but unsure of Paris 2024 Olympics bid

Beatrice Go

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Hidilyn Diaz not retiring yet but unsure of Paris 2024 Olympics bid

FOCUSED. Hidilyn Diaz plans to compete in the world championships.

Edgard Garrido/Reuters

'Nakita ko 'yung galing ko. Alam ko may ibibigay pa ako para sa Pilipinas,' says Olympic gold winner Hidilyn Diaz

Retirement isn’t in sight yet for Olympic weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz. 

After bagging the country’s historic Olympic gold medal, Diaz said she has a lot more to offer but remains unsure if she could compete in the Olympics for a fifth straight time in the Paris 2024 Games.  

Hindi ako magsstop kasi kaya ko pa. Nakita ko ‘yung galing ko. Alam ko may ibibigay pa ako para sa Pilipinas,” said said Diaz in a press conference on Tuesday, July 27.

(I won’t stop because I can still do it. I saw my skills. I know I have a lot more to offer to the Philippines.)

The pride of Zamboanga City also wants to make sure that there will be a smooth transition when the time comes for her to retire.

Hindi puwedeng after winning susuko na ako. Alam niyo naman I need to still continue to inspire the younger generations to still dream,” said Diaz. “Pag wala na ako doon, baka yung standard ng sport bababa so kailangan tuloy-tuloy hanggang sa may susunod sa akin.”

(I can’t just give up after winning. You know that I need to still continue to inspire the younger generations to still dream. If I’m no longer around, the standard of the sport might dip, so I need to continue until we have a successor.) 

While Diaz is sure to compete in next year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, she can’t say yet if she’ll be back for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The Philippine weightlifting queen said only 120 weightlifters will qualify for the next Summer Games as the weight categories were reduced to five instead of the usual seven.

Natatakot ako for Paris 2024 pero tinitignan ko kasi ‘yung Paris, ‘yung quota ng weightlifting is 120 lang, baka mahirap po ‘yung qualifying,” said Diaz.

(I’m scared for Paris 2024 and I’ll see about it because quota for weightlifting is at 120 athletes only. The qualifying might be difficult.)

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) continues to be in hot water with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to doping and leadership issues.

It still risks being dropped out of the 2024 Olympics completely if it does not resolve its issues of irregular finances and doping cover-ups that were exposed under the leadership of longtime president Tamas Ajan.

Diaz will also be 33 years old by the time the Paris Olympics begin, but being the Olympic champion in the women’s 55kg, it will all depend on her strength and confidence.

Pero kung ‘yung lakas ko ay nandoon, itutuloy ko iyon (If my strenght is still there, I’ll keep going),” said Diaz.

Diaz, instead, will first focus on her title defense in the delayed 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, which has not decided on a final date, and the 2021 World Weightlifting Championships in November to be staged in Lima, Peru.

The country’s most decorated weightlifter looks to cop her first world championship gold as well after having the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 SEA Games titles under her belt as well.

The 30-year-old star set the Olympic record for the clean and jerk with the gold medal-clinching lift of 127kg and the total of 224kg in the women’s 55kg event, the category that made its debut in Tokyo.

Diaz then became the first Filipina double Olympic medalist after her 2016 Rio Olympic silver medal conquest.

Swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso is the only other multi-medaled Filipino Olympian after winning the bronze in the men’s 200 meter breaststroke in the 1928 Amsterdam and 1932 Los Angeles Games. – Rappler.com

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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.