Hidilyn Diaz reunites with longtime mentor to step up quest for Olympic gold
. “Kailangan ko ng coach na naka-program talaga ‘yung schedule para masundan ko at i-control ako,” says Olympic medalist Hidilyn Diaz. Jerome Ascano

HIDILYN Diaz is set to reunite with her former coach Antonio Agustin in her build-up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Diaz confirmed Agustin is slated to return as her coach for her training in April, and that she had already began using Agustin’s program to start the year.

The Rio Olympics silver medalist said Agustin’s hiring has the blessing of the Philippine Sports Commission and chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez, who has vowed his full support to the weightlifter’s dream of winning a gold medal in 2020.

“Ni-rehire ko si coach Antonio Agustin,” Diaz said. “Kailangan ko ng coach na naka-program talaga ‘yung schedule para masundan ko at i-control ako.”

[See Hidilyn goes back to school]

Under Agustin’s watch, Diaz became a wildcard entry in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and a qualifier four years later in London. Agustin, however, was inexplicably replaced and was no longer part of the delegation for the 2016 Olympics.

Still, Diaz was adamant about the contributions of Agustin to her performance to lift the Philippines to a silver medal victory in the 53kg division in weightlifting to become the first Filipino non-boxer to win a medal in the Olympics.

Following her silver medal performance in Rio, Diaz is in for a busy 2017 as she is slated to compete in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in September and the World Championships in November. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports