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Diaz: I don’t want to stop

HIDILYN Diaz floats the idea of having her first baby a day after failing to qualify in the Paris Olympics. Also shown is her husband and coach, Julius Naranjo. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF HIDILYN DIAZ/FB

Hidilyn Diaz has no plan of slowing down after falling short of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

Diaz, the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal, said she will be plotting her next moves following a dismal performance in the IWF World Cup in Phuket, Thailand late Wednesday.

She finished with a total lift of 222 kilograms to end up at 11th place in the women’s 59-kg event.

It was Elreen Ando who emerged victorious as she notched her career best lift of 228 kgs to finish at the seventh spot and outshine Diaz’s best lift of 224 kgs that she registered in the IWF World Championships in Riyadh last September.

With that, Ando is just a heartbeat away from representing the country in the Summer Games. Her qualification will be formalized after the cut-off on 28 April.

Still, retirement is the last thing on Diaz’s mind.

“I love this sport, I don’t want to stop. But what I have to do now is take a good rest and think about the priorities in my life,” Diaz said.

“Today wasn’t my day, Paris was not meant to be.”

The sport had been so good to Diaz.

She made her Olympic debut when she was just 17 years old in the Beijing Games in 2008 until winning the silver medal in the women’s 53-kilogram event of the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

Finally, she hit the jackpot when she ruled the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 that elevated her into a legendary status and turned her into an icon in Philippine sports.


‘Today wasn’t my day, Paris was not meant to be.’


Despite the crushing setback, Diaz said she has no regrets.

“But overall I’m happy. I’ve given a lot to this sport and it’s given a lot to me,” Diaz said.

“There will be time for that (honeymoon) now,” Diaz said, stressing that she will still continue to compete despite the uncertainty of the future.

“I will still lift, but I’m not sure for the next Olympics,” Diaz told AFP via Facebook messenger.

“Right now, I have to enjoy the moment.”

For now, Diaz will focus on her HD Weightlifting Academy in Jala-Jala, Rizal where she and her husband, Julius Naranjo, are molding future champions.

“I will pursue what I have started, training and serving our athletes in the future,” she said.

“To my followers and supporters — many thanks!”

“Our initiative of giving inspiration to our youth and Filipinos in sports will go up to the next level.”

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino told AFP it was “unfortunate that Diaz missed the record of having five consecutive appearances in Olympics.”

“Both Diaz and Ando were “not in their natural weight class,” he said, adding Diaz’s training for the Phuket qualifiers had been hampered by an injury, without giving details.

Naranjo said the legacy of his wife remains intact.

“We gave it our best. Hidilyn is still a legend,” Naranjo said.

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, for his part, praises Diaz for serving as an inspiration to future weightlifters.

“Yet, even with the loss of our Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn last night, please remember that she inspired these new lifters,” Puentevella said.

In a social media post, Diaz hinted at the possibility of finally having a baby.

“Now for the much-needed family time,” Diaz said, showing a photo of her and Naranjo while enjoying the afternoon Phuket sun.

Dun tayo sa forever — God and family are forever.”

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