There will be no time to relax for Hidilyn Diaz as she plans to go back to work as soon as she arrives in the country from a very successful stint in the 2022 IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Bogota, Colombia late Thursday (Manila time).
In an interview, the 31-year-old Diaz said she remains hungry and focused on staying in shape as she heads for a handful of major international events, including the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and the 19th Asian Games in China as well as various Olympic qualifying tournaments.
In the World Championships, Diaz was at her best as she plucked the gold medals in snatch, clean and jerk and total lift of the women’s 55-kilogram category.
She said winning wasn’t easy since she had juggle a lot of activities off the court, including her studies and managing her HD Weightlifting Academy.
“This is the first Olympic qualifying tournament so I’m not yet qualified. I still need to play in five more competitions to qualify,” Diaz said.
“Everybody expected me to win in any event because I am an Olympic gold medalist but I can’t be complacent.”
The medal in the world stage is the last feather that is missing in her cap.
Since plucking the silver medal in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, Diaz was on a roll as she captured the gold medals in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018, and 30th and 31st SEA Games in Manila and Hanoi in 2019 and 2022, respectively.
But more than that, she won the country’s first gold medal in the Olympics after 97 years of participation.
Still, Diaz is far from satisfied.
“I have to earn my spot in the Olympics. I have to train hard and be strong for it,” Diaz said.
“I also want to give back to the weightlifting community and become an inspiration to our lifters. That’s why I’m still competing.”