With an Olympic gold and silver medal already tucked under her belt, Hidilyn Diaz will go for her fifth Olympic Games in Paris 2024 and the road starts in the coming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, where she will be defending her weightlifting gold.
No less than her nutritionist Jeaneth Aro confirmed that Diaz and her 30-year-old body can still cope with the demand of hard training and the stress necessary for her sport of weightlifting.
“I can attest that she’s still in it,” said Aro, part of the composite Team HD that Diaz acknowledged when she delivered the first gold medal for the Philippines after more than a century of futile attempts in the Olympiad.
Aro was backstage in Tokyo with Diaz when the Zamboangena star won the Olympic gold last July.
She whooped it up with Diaz when she pulled off that dramatic victory that changed Philippine Olympic history forever.
“To see up close once again HD’s face and habits when she’s on competition mode brings back memories of the Tokyo Olympics— a privileged view that I can say only a few eyes have seen,” added Aro.
Together with the other members of Team HD, coach Julius Naranjo and psychologist Karen Katrina Trinidad, Aro was in attendance as Diaz pulled through the qualifying event for weightlifting in the SEA Games, held at the Sentro Fortis Crossfit Gym in Muntinlupa.
Two other qualifying meets were held in Cebu and Zamboanga to complete the 13-member squad for the SEA Games weightlifting competition at the Hanoi Sports Training Center from May 19 to 22.
The opening ceremonies of the biennial meet that was postponed from its original date this year will be on May 12.
Other members of the team are Fernando Agad Jr. (men’s 55kg), Rowel Garcia (men’s 61kg), Nestor Colonia (men’s 67kg), Lemon Denmark Tarro (men’s 73kg), John Kevin Padullo (men’s 89kg), John Dexter Tabique (men’s +89kg), Mary Flor Diaz (women’s 45kg), Rosegie Ramos (women’s 49kg), Margaret Colonia (women’s 59kg), Elreen Ann Ando (women’s 64kg), Vanessa Sarno (women’s 71kg) and Kristel Macrohon (women’s +71kg).
Six of them bagged medals in the 30th SEA Games hosted by the Philippines in 2019. Diaz and Macrohon were gold-medal winners, while Margaret Colonia and Ando bagged silver medals. Mary For Diaza and Nestor Colonia were bronze medalists.