OLYMPIAN Hidilyn Diaz is giving herself an ultimatum: compete in the Tokyo Olympics for one final shot at a first ever Philippine gold medal.
The 27-year-old weightlifter, who won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, has her goal for life already set which she shared on a rainy Saturday morning during the official launch of the Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championships (HDWOC) at the Crossfit gym in Ortigas.
“Hanggang Tokyo Olympics (na lang). Yun ang looking forward ako kasi siyempre gusto ko ring i-enjoy yung buhay ko,” she said as she was flanked by Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, trainer Cyrus Cruz, coach Tony Agustin, and Sports5 head Patricia Hizon.
“(I also want) to have a family, and tapusin yung pag-aaral ko. After that, tingnan natin.”
Diaz represented the country in the Olympics during the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games, respectively, but didn't really hit paydirt until her 2016 stint when she ended the Philippines' 20-year medal drought in the quadrennial meet.
The pride of Zamboanga City admitted she’s in a relationship right now, but remains focused on her bid to have another chance at winning an Olympic gold after coming close of achieving the feat two years ago in Brazil.
“Matagal na ako sa weighlifting at sobrang focused ako dito kaya hindi ko naba-balance yung lovelife, yung school,” she explained. “Mahirap i-maintain kung lahat ng bagay gagawin ko (ng sabay-sabay).”
It’s for this reason that Diaz, in collaboration with the SWP and the MVP Sports Foundation, is hosting the second edition of the HDWOC on July 27 to July 29 at the Meralco Multi-Purpose gym in search of potential Filipino weightlifters to who Hidilyn could pass the torch in the coming years.
Last year, a total of 130 participants saw action in the event, and Hizon said organizers expect to surpass the numbers owing to the introduction of the collegiate and open divisions.
“We target 150 weightlifters, but we wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll surpassed that number,” she said.
Prior to the competition, Puentevella said the SWP will also be holding a developmental and technical seminar for coaches and trainers on July 25 to 26.