HIDILYN Diaz is open to training abroad, particularly in China, in the hope of strengthening her chance of winning a gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Diaz said she is willing to undergo training in China as part of her buildup for the 2020 Olympics, saying it will give her the opportunity to measure herself against the best weightlifters in her class.
“Open ako na mag-training sa ibang bansa lalo na sa China kasi maraming malalakas sa China,” said Diaz during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday at the Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.
Diaz also trained in China during her buildup for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she won a silver medal to end the country's long medal drought.
Diaz, who was recently named as Athlete of the Year by the PSA, said competing against or training with world-class athletes motivate her.
“’Yung morale ko kasi, pag nakikita ko na malakas ang kalaban, high ang morale ko. Namo-motivate ako sa kanila kasi China talaga ang pinaka-powerhouse,” said Diaz.
Just months after her silver-medal performance, Diaz has returned to training under Antonio Agustin, his coach since 2004 before the latter was unceremoniously booted out as her mentor.
The Southeast Asian Games will no longer be on the radar, however, for Diaz this year after Malaysia organizers decided to scrap all the events of women’s weightlifting in the calendar, depriving Diaz and the Philippines of a shot at gold in the biennial meet.
Diaz now looks forward to the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games set September 17 to 27 in Turkmenistan.
“Naka-move on na ako,” said Diaz, referring to the absence of weightlifting from the SEA Games calendar. “Kaya ito ang focus ko (Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games).”