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Better chances in Rio

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Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz insists that she has a better chance of making it to the medal podium in the Rio Olympics next month compared to her previous stints in Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

“I am much better prepared now if you compare my performances in Beijing and London,” said Diaz, whose participation in the Aug. 5 to 21 sportsfest was only formalized a few weeks ago.

But deep within, the 25-year-old Diaz knew even from way back last year that she was gong to make it to Rio as she was making a lot of heads turn with her showing in the 53 kg. division.

Last year, Diaz took top honors during the Asian championships in Thailand and landed third in the world championships in Houston, Texas, feats that didn’t go unnoticed by the International Weightlifting Federation.

Last summer, Diaz also captured three bronzes in the total, clean-and-jerk and snatch in the Asian championships in Uzbekistan.

“My Olympic stints in 2008and 2012 were a bit unexpected as my inclusion came at the last-minute,” recalled Diaz.

“But this time in Rio, that’s not the case as we were assured months ago that we would make it,” said Diaz, who will be one of two lifters representing the Philippines.

The other is Nestor Colonia, also from Zamboanga City, who will see action in the 56 kg. class.

Diaz and Colonia will begin their medal quest on Aug. 7, the day after Ian Lariba tries his luck in table tennis, Jessie Lacuna takes to the water and the bell sounds signaling the start of boxing.