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Chinese coach preparing Diaz for 2020 Olympics


By Waylon Galvez


Asian Games gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz is looking good and battle ready despite her hectic schedule these days.

Though the multi-titled weightlifter had so many public and TV appearances since sparking the country’s four-gold haul in the recent

Indonesian Asian Games, Chinese Gao Kaiwen believes the pride of Zamboanga City will still do good in the coming 2018 Weightlifting World Championship in November in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

That’s because the 27-year-old Diaz has improved a lot – technique-wise – since taking over her training.

Diaz took the country’s first gold by ruling the women’s 53kg women’s category in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games in Indonesia.

“I’ve been here just two months… since June. Hidilyn progress very quickly,” said Gao.

Gao said that while Diaz will surely try to get a podium finish in the worlds, the target he said is the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

The event serves as the first qualifying tournament for the Olympics as athletes can earn points to the next Games.

“Hidilyn will try in the world championship. But the important thing… very important is the Tokyo Olympics,” said Gao.

Gao took over from coach Tony Agustin, who was with Diaz when she bagged the silver medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a silver medal finish as well in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) last year in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Gao’s credentials as weightlifting include a stint with China’s women’s team that produced 2012 London Olympics gold medalist Zhou Lulu and Chen Xiexia, a gold winner in 2008 Beijing Games.