RIO Olympic Games veteran and 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Hidylin Diaz formalizes her stint in the Tokyo Olympic Games when she competes in the Asian weightlifting championships on April 16 to 25 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
“After waiting for more than a year Diaz will have her last Olympic qualifying at the Asian championships,” weightlifting head Monico Puentevella said of Diaz, who bagged a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics and is currently training in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, her stint funded by the Philippine Sports Commission.
It will be the first international competition for the Zamboanga City pride since she ruled the 55-kilogram event of the Southeast Asian Games in 2019, her golden breakthrough in the regional games since making her debut in the 2013 Myanmar edition.
“By competing in Uzbekistan, Hidy (Diaz’s nickname) will be fulfilling the required six events she needs to qualify through the International Weightlifting Federation Olympic qualifying rankings,” Puentevella explained.
Under the IWF Olympic qualification system, weightlifters need to compete in at least six IWF-sanctioned events to meet the rankings list by the end of April where the top eight entries will qualify for the Tokyo Games.
Diaz, 29, will meet those requirements by merely seeing action in Uzbekistan. She is currently ranked No. 4 in the IWF Olympic qualifying rankings in her weight division behind Chinese lifters Liao Qiuyun, Zhang Wangjiong and Li Jayun, who are Nos. 1 to 3, respectively.
During the 2019 Asian championships in Pattaya, Thailand, Diaz won a pair of bronze medals with an overall lift of 214 kilograms and 121 kilos in the clean-and-jerk while finishing eighth in the snatch with 93 kilos.
Diaz is set to make her fourth straight Olympic appearance since making her debut in the 2008 Beijing Games as a wild card entry.
Also set to see action in the Asian meet are SEA Games gold medalist Kristel Macrohon plus fellow Rio Olympic veteran Nestor Colonia, John Ceniza, Elreen Ando and Maryflor Diaz.
Meanwhile, Archery Olympic hopeful Riley Silos placed a respectable 34th in the recent online World Indoor series conducted by World Archery with a score of 585 out of a possible 600 points.