The 2016 Olympics silver medalist and Filipino pride Hidilyn Diaz is set to participate in the coming Asian Weightlifting Championship as a warm-up tournament but experiences issues that have nothing to do with barbells.

/ 3 March 2021

Hidilyn Diaz shared on Monday during Kick-Start Coffee’s Brewed Awakening online show that she will be joining the April 15 to 25 meet in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to return to her good shape as well as book a fourth straight Olympic stint.

Kailangan ko din ng tune-up because more than one year ako walang competition,” Diaz said.

But the 30-year-old Asian Games weightlifting champion is undergoing some concerns that have no connections to her instrument, the barbells. 

“It’s difficult mentally when you are not able to compete in a tournament for more than a year,” Diaz averred. 

“I need to condition myself mentally and maintain my weight. These are the factors that concern me,” she propounded.

Diaz attended her last tournament, the 2020 World Cup in Rome in January of 2020 where she bagged the gold medal in the said meet. 

Then flew to Malaysia to train for the Asian Championship last year, but the tournament was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. 

Diaz has already joined four of the five tournaments that are set by the International Weightlifting Federation to qualify in the Tokyo Olympics, however, a cancellation of the tournament will turn to be a bit of a worry for the 55-kilogram gold medalist of the Roma 2020 World Cup.

“I hope the tournament pushes through. It will also serve as a tuneup for me going into the Olympics,” she said.

Diaz also thought that not pushing her Olympic bid in this most challenging time will portray a bad impression to the youth and future generation of Filipino athletes.

Napamulat din ako na akala ko puro medal lang ito pag manalo ka sa Olympics. Pero you have a responsibility to the future generation. Doon ko na-realize yung responsibility ko as an Olympic athlete,” she shared. 

Saka kung mag give up ako at this time of the pandemic, hindi maganda as inspiration and influence to our youth,” she continued.

However, Diaz remains confident that she can ride her world rankings in the Olympics or even better, outperform her silver medal feat in the Olympics four years ago. 

Maraming nagtatanong kung bakit andito pa din ako. May pinaglalaban ako, kasi alam ko kaya nating manalo sa Olympics,” she stressed.

It looks like the Asian Championship is the last league that she needed to participate in before joining world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, multiple Europe gold-winning pole vaulter EJ Obiena and champion boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno as Filipino representatives to this year’s rescheduled Olympic games.