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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Diaz to pursue college after Rio

HAVING achieved and even exceeded her expectations with a silver medal finish in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz will soon pursue her college education in a new course.

"Di ko natapos college ko, I stopped third year irregular sa computer science," the 25-year-old native of Mampang, Zamboanga City said in a recent Facebook chat interview.

She attended at the Universidad de Zamboanga.

Diaz, the fifth among six children of Eduardo and Emelita, said, "I don't like the course it made me crazy! Di ako makapag-focus sa training at di kumakagat."

Thus, she plans to shift after her stint in the Rio Olympics and take a sports-related course in Manila instead.

Diaz, whose father is a tricyle driver, became a developmental athlete in 2004 after joining Batang Pinoy Games and Mindanao Friendship Games.

She was a wild card entry of the Philippines in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

She clinched bronze in the 2007 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Nakhon Ratchasima playing in the -58 kgs but in the 2011 Jakarta SEA Games, she improved by snatching a silver in the same category.

She again competed in the London Olympics in 2012.

The Chavacan retained the silver in the 2013 SEA Games in Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar.

She bagged a gold in the 2015 Asian Championships held in Phuket, Thailand but settled for bronze in the same competition this year in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She vied in both tournaments in women's 53 kg.

She won a bronze in the World Championships held in Houston, USA last year.

Diaz dreamed big in life even as a child. She grew up facing hard realities of life as she had to help her father sell vegetables and fish while she was a grade-schooler. The family of eight also shared meals with just rice, salt and soy sauce many times.

She, however, used poverty to motivate her to excel in her sport and become the inspiration that she is now to so many Filipinos, particularly young weightlifters and athletes who also dream of becoming an Olympic medalist like her.

She along with the rest of the weightlifting team arrived from Rio via a delayed flight at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and was then later escorted to a press conference hosted by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) at the NAIA VIP lounge with PSC Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez.

Her parents, PSC Commissioner Charles Raymond Maxey and PSC acting executive director Ronnel Abrenica along with other well-wishers also were around to welcome her upon her arrival as well as other Philippine Air Force (PAF) officers and staff.

From NAIA, Diaz's entourage was set to board a flight to Davao City, where she will pay President Rodrigo Duterte a courtesy visit, as of Thursday afternoon.

Diaz is a PAF reservist with a rank of Airwoman Second Class (AW2C) at the PAF's 710th Special Operations Wing since 2013.
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