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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

A lot of sacrifice paid off, says Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz, quite grateful the Tokyo Olympics pushed through

MANILA – The Philippines’ first Olympic Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz said she’s grateful for Japan’s decision to push through with the XXXII Olympiad despite a one-year delay.

Speaking before the members of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines’ online forum, Air Force Sgt. Diaz said she shed tears during the opening rites where she carried the country’s tricolor.

Hidilyn said her Chinese coach Kaiwen Gao taught her the Chinese way of weightlifting, the Chinese technique while Filipino coach Julius Naranjo focused on her strength and stamina. She said Coach Jeaneth Aro, a sports nutritionist provided her a list of food she needed to have during training. Dr. Karen Trinidad was her sports psychologist.

“A heavy training or routine would require more protein and rice. My cheat days are Saturdays and Sundays,” she said. She said she didn’t follow the routine but opted to stick to the menu as the training became more intense.

She expressed appreciation for everyone who helped her train in Taiwan and in Malaysia where she lifted improvised weights as their movements were restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I lifted improvised weights with bottles of water on bamboo poles and ran in parking lots,” she added. She admitted she never thought she’d survive the challenge posted by the lockdown.

Asked of her immediate plans, the newly-promoted Air Force Staff Sgt. Diaz said she will compete in the World Championships this year and plans to take part in the coming South East Asian Games originally scheduled in Viet Nam and the coming Asian Games in Zhejiang, China next year.

“It will be at the Asian Games where I will decide if I will still compete in the coming Paris Olympics in 2024 because it will be more difficult to qualify with the new standards. Kung kaya pa ng katawan, eh bakit hindi?” she added. (Melo M. Acuña)

Filipino Gold Medalist Hidilyn Diaz and the FOCAP Crew during this afternoon's Virtual Press Briefing. (Melo M. Acuna/Karen Magsanoc Alikpala)

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