DAVAO

Ramirez: Diaz is biggest chance

PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez believes that Hidilyn Diaz has the biggest chance to win an Olympic medal after her Tokyo berth was assured following her Asian Weightlifting Championships stint in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on April 18, 2021.

"She is the biggest chance of an Olympic medal in Tokyo Olympics. That is the reason why PSC has bankrolled her training, her team, basic support, and foreign exposures of several million of pesos since Chairman Tuason where I was one of the Commissioners," he said.

The PSC chief said Diaz is armed with a rich experience in her past three Olympics and international exposures on top of her dreams for her family, her pride, her sacrifices, her joy of achievement, and her human self-fulfillment. All these are factors that will help boost here fourth Olympic appearance.

Diaz finished fourth in the women's 55 kilogram division. She made a 212-kilogram total after registering 94kg in the snatch and 118 in the clean and jerk. She failed to hoist the 90kg iron in the snatch and also missed her last two attempts in 121kg and 122kg in the clean and jerk.

China's Qiuyun Liao and Yajun Li clinched the gold and silver, respectively, while Uzbekistan's Muattar Nabieva salvaged the bronze.

The Rio Olympics 2016 silver medalist qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics having completed the five-tournament requirement of the International Weightlifting Federation as her passport to Tokyo.

PSC Commissioner Charles Raymond A. Maxey, for his part, said: "We are happy that Hidilyn has made it again to the world's greatest sporting stage. We always believe in her talent as an athlete and through her hardwork and determination, she will be competing in her fourth Olympics. We are proud of her. We are proud of the Filipino athletes."

Dr. Karen Trinidad, one of PSC's sports psychologists and the one who worked with Diaz, said that the latter deserved the Olympic spot as she worked hard for it.

"This will be her fourth Olympics. Hidilyn is an athlete who is mentally tough. She has an exceptional ability to bounce back in any given situation. Training during a pandemic is never easy but she has the right attitude, discipline, and grit (perseverance and passion)," Trinidad said, adding that Diaz looked at the situation differently by seeing it as an opportunity to be stronger physically and mentally.

She will join other Filipino Tokyo Olympic qualifiers pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial, and Irish Magno in the quadrennial Games.


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