Hidilyn Diaz on her delayed Olympic quest

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz is already assured a place in the country’s sporting folklore, alongside the likes of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, as the only woman from the Philippines to ever win an Olympic medal — her surprise silver in 2016 in Rio breaking a 20-year medal drought for the Philippines.

The stature of the Zamboanga native grew two years later when she struck gold at the Asian Games in Indonesia and repeated the feat at the South East Asian Games on home soil in December 2019.

Diaz had then been firmly on course to take her chance at Olympic glory just a few months later, but the novel coronavirus pandemic changed everything as the Games in Japan were postponed by a year.

Diaz, who serves in the Philippines Air Force and will compete in the 55-kilogram class in Tokyo, shared, “It’s difficult to have a goal and have it extended by how many months and at the same time you know you have plans after the Olympics.”

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