Rio Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz woke up one recent morning and felt the urge to hit the gym.
“Na-mimiss ko talaga eh,” said Diaz yesterday during the formal turnover of the symbolic key to a house and lot that Decca, a massive house developer, awarded to the country’s newest sports hero yesterday.
Diaz’s decision to dress up for training augurs well with the vision of sports leaders to see her lead the Philippine charge in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Even as countless awards, cash prizes and other contributions pour in for Diaz, the Zamboanga City native insists she still feels the itch to compete and Tokyo is on her mind.
“Gusto ko pa maglaro sa 2020 and my priority right now is continue with my training,” said Diaz, whose first tournament following her Rio conquest would be a stint in an invitational event in Qatar in December.
But Diaz maintains that for her to advance further, she has to get full backing from the private and public sector.
“I can remain competitive as long as there is support,” she said.
The question about her desire to represent the country once again was raised as another silver medalist, boxer Onyok Velasco, is still waiting for a cash reward promised to him by lawmakers 20 years ago.
The crowning glory of Diaz’s runnerup finish in Rio was the combined total of P7 million he got from the government.
Despite the shower of blessings, Diaz believes she can still go for gold in Tokyo.
“Hindi ko yata kayang mag-pahinga,” said Diaz, noting that she did strength and conditioning aside from light exercises and lifting in her first workout since arriving from Rio.
“I think I have adjusted to everything that’s happened to me the past weeks,” she added.