Paris Olympics

‘Paris was not to be’: Hidilyn Diaz still happy after missed Olympic return bid

Jasmine W. Payo

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‘Paris was not to be’: Hidilyn Diaz still happy after missed Olympic return bid

LEGEND. Hidilyn Diaz waves to the crowd after a lift during the 2024 IWF World Cup.

International Weightlifting Federation

Hidilyn Diaz may have seen her Olympic streak come to an end, but the Philippines’ lone gold medalist sees no reason to stop

MANILA, Philippines – Don’t expect Hidilyn Diaz to quit just yet.

Diaz missed the chance to return to the Olympics for the fifth straight edition and fight for another gold, but the Filipino weightlifting superstar admitted she plans to keep going.

“I love this sport, I don’t want to stop,” Diaz said in an interview with the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). “But what I have to do now is take a good rest and think about the priorities in my life. Today wasn’t my day. Paris was not to be.”

Diaz recorded a 222kg total lift to settle for 11th place in the women’s 59kg class of the IWF World Cup on Wednesday, April 3, in Phuket, Thailand – the last qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

It will be the first time Diaz won’t see action in the Olympics after a Philippine record four straight appearances, highlighted by a historic golden performance in the Tokyo Games in 2021. 

Instead, Elreen Ando will carry the flag in the 59kg division in Paris after the 25-year-old Cebuana finished seventh in the World Cup with a total lift of 228kg, well inside the top 10 Olympic qualification cutoff.

Both Ando and Diaz competed in the 59kg as their weight classes were both scrapped in the Paris Olympics. 

Diaz captured the Philippines’ first Olympic gold in the 55kg weight class, while Ando had a seventh-place debut in the 64kg event of the Tokyo Games. 

“But overall, I’m happy,” said Diaz. “I’ve given a lot to this sport and it’s given a lot to me.”

As the 33-year-old Diaz plans to rest, she also hopes to take her honeymoon with coach and husband Julius Naranjo, almost two years after getting married

“There will be time for that now,” said Diaz.

More time, and perhaps less worries, as Naranjo believes the pride of Zamboanga has nothing more to prove. 

“We gave it our best,” he said. “Hidilyn is still a legend.” –

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Jasmine W. Payo

Jasmine joined Rappler as its sports editor in 2018 after over a decade of working as a sportswriter for a national broadsheet.