RIO Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz proved to herself that she can still compete against the best after winning silver in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Diaz had a total of 204 points to place second behind China’s Liao Qiuyun (208) from the combined snatch, and clean and jerk in the 53kg category. Turkmenistan’s Kristina Skermetova settled for bronze (196).
Prior to the Games, Diaz admitted she had questions on whether or not she can still go for gold in the 2020 Olympics following her effort in Rio.
Those doubts were erased in Ashgabat.
“Kaya ko pa pala,” said the 26-year-old native of Zamboanga City. “Sabi ko nga ayoko na, gusto ko na mag-give up kasi nahirapan ako mag-disiplina. Pero hindi din ako nag-give up… kaya ko pala, napatunayan ko na kaya ko pa, wala sa age.”
“Hindi dahil nanalo ka na hindi ka na pwedeng bumalik pa, pwede pa pala,” Diaz added.
Diaz was already down three points after her best score of 90 kilos out of three attempts in snatch to Liao’s 93. The two lifted similar weights of 110 kilos to start the clean and jerk.
The Rio silver medalist failed to lift 114 kilos in her first attempt in the clean and jerk but was able to eventually carry the same weight on her third and final attempt. Her rival from China lifted 115 kilos on her second attempt to win the gold.
“Nakita ko na siya sa China Weightlifting Games nila, siya yung first,” said Diaz. “Pare-parehas lang silang malakas (China)… parehas lang kami na malakas, (but) sa buhat ko kanina konting adjustment lang.”
Fil-American Eric Cray, meanwhile, also missed out on winning a gold medal.
Cray finished second in the 60m run as he clocked 6.63 seconds, behind the 6.55 seconds of reigning champion Hassan Taftian of Iran. Iran’s Reza Ghasemi got the bronze (6.64).
Long jumper Janry Ubas missed out on a podium finish as he placed fourth (7.40m) behind gold medalist Nguyen Tien Trong of Vietnam (7.48m), Amila Pedige of India (7.45m) and Chan Ming Tai of Hong Kong (7.44m).
In taekwondo, Kristie Elaine Alora and Kristopher Robert Uy settled for bronze medals after losing in the semifinals. Alora lost to Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Osipova (16-8), while Uy to China’s Liu Jintao (27-10).
In women’s tennis, Anna Patrimonio and Khim Iglupas are playing in the second round at press time.
Patrimonio is up against Aldila Sutjiadi of Indonesia after beating Tuvalu’s Saintly Molotii, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round, while Iglupas is facing Thailand’s Chompoothip Jundakate after her 6-0, 6-1 win over Fiji’s Vienna Kumar also last Monday.
In the men’s singles, Jason Patrombon lost in the first round against Uzbekistan’s Farrukh Dustov, 7-5, 6-2. Patrombon will still see action in the mixed event with Iglupas, who will likewise team up with Patrimonio with women’s doubles.
All Filipinos got wiped out in belt wrestling at the Main Indoor Stadium.
These include Joseph Angana (70kg freestyle), Michael Carter (55kg classic), Jonathan Maquilan (65kg classic), Grace Loberanes (50kg classic), Noemi Tener (60kg classic) and Chris Hofmann Jr. (90kg free).