Golden feat proves Diaz still on track for Tokyo bid

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Hidilyn Diaz —SHERWIN VARDELEON

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Weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz tabbed the gold medal in the Eleiko Email International Lifters Tournament on Thursday night, proving she has not lost a step despite training woes she encountered because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Rio Olympics (2016) silver medalist, who is working on her bid to qualify for the Tokyo Games, logged 95 kilograms in the snatch event, and 121 in the clean and jerk for a whopping total of 216 kg and to dominate the women’s 59-kg division.

Diaz’s closest pursuer was Fatima Yakubu of Zubin, Australia, who registered 84 in the snatch and 105 in the clean and jerk for a sum of 189kg.

The contest, which was organized by the Oceania Weightlifting Federation, drew 751 athletes from around the world in hopes of “[continuing] the momentum of regular training.” It required participants to send videos of themselves to serve as entries for the competition.

Diaz’s chances in securing a berth in the Summer Games, however, remains as clear as day.

While she is currently fifth in the International Weightlifting Federation’s rankings behind four Chinese athletes, the qualification rules indicate that one representative per country makes it to the Olympics via the world ranking system. That makes the Rio Games veteran the second-best lifter in the leaderboard.

Diaz has been stuck in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in what was supposed to be a pit stop for her bid to gain competition shape.


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