Olympic silver medalist Diaz to skip 2017 SEA Games, prepares for Asian, IWF tilts

MANILA-- Olympic silver medalist, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, on Tuesday confirmed she will not participate in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) set in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 19-31.

The Zamboanga-born Olympian, who earlier expressed her willingness to compete in the SEAG, cited the organizer's decision to scrap the women's competition in weightlifting as her main reason why she will not see action in the biennial meet.

Instead, Diaz, who will receive the time-honored "Athlete of the Year" award of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA), is busy preparing for the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Games to be held in Ashgabat City, Turkmenistan in September, and the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in November in Anaheim, California, the US.

Diaz captured three bronze medals for the clean, jerk and snatch events in the 53-kg. division of the IWF World Weightlifting Championship held in Houston, Texas on Nov. 22, 2015 to claim a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Guesting at the weekly PSA Forum, Diaz, who is turning 26 this February, said she is "balancing" her studies, her training and her passion for helping future Filipino Olympians, when asked about her plans to bag the gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"I have the strength and stamina. The only problem is time management -- how to organize my schedules, and also compete. Right now, I am focused on the Asian and World (weightlifting) meets and the 2018 Asian Games," said Diaz, who is coached by Tony Agustin.

"On my weight category, Chinese weightlifters are strong, but I have a big chance to beat them," said the first Filipina and the first Mindanaoan to win an Olympic medal.

Looking forward, Diaz, who was taught by her cousin Allen Jayfrus Diaz the basics of weightlifting, hopes that she will be permitted by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to train in China.

"China is the powerhouse in the sport of weightlifting. Chinese lifters are strong and my morale is boosted when I see them as my opponents," she said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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