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Diaz back training for world meet

 

By WAYLON GALVEZ

 

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz is now back training in the gym as she prepares for a much tougher tournament – the World Weightlifting Championships (WWC) scheduled Nov. 1-10 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

“I did have enough rest after the Asian Games, but now I’m back at the process because I have to train for the worlds,” the 27-year-old Diaz told Tempo in an interview following her training session at the weightlifting gym in Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Manila.

The event, which will take place where Diaz bagged a silver medal in last year’s Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG), will also serve as the first qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Diaz said the world championship is a much tougher event as weightlifters from China and Kazakhstan will be competing after their respective mother associations were suspended by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

“The last Asian Games is like a world championship already, but with both Kazakhstan and China returning in the World Championships, it’s really going to be a lot tougher,” said Diaz in Filipino.

Just like when she won the silver medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016, Diaz bagged the gold medal in the same 53-kilogram women’s category in the last Asian Games, besting world championship silver medalist Kristina Sermetowa of Turkmenistan and Surodchana Khambao of Thailand.

In the world championship held in Anaheim, United States, Diaz came home with a bronze medal as she finished third behind Sopita Tanasan of Thailand and Sermetowa.

In this year’s edition of the world championship, Diaz said that the IWF has finally decided to replace the 53kg division to 55kg, a weight class she is more comfortable as her body can adjust to it.

“I’m really happy, because I normally weighs 55kg. So no more diet for me, I’ll be able to gain muscle, which is ok for me,” added Diaz, who is set to receive R7 million for winning the gold medal in the Asian Games.

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