She will make it.
This was the confident statement of Team Philippines' Chef de Mission and Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez during the courtesy visit of recent double-bronze IWF World Weightlifting Championships bronze medalist Hidilyn Diaz on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
The 28-year-old Diaz won the two bronze medals in the 55-kg division after lifting a combined weight of 214kg in the snatch and clean and jerk categories of the said tournament. She needs at least two more competitions to cement her slot in the Tokyo Olympics.
Ramirez welcomed the three-time Olympian Diaz, Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas President Monico Puentevella, and the rest of the national weightlifting team that competed in Pattaya, Thailand from September 18 to 27.
Congratulating Diaz' bronze win, Ramirez remarked: "Para sa akin, gold medal iyon."
Ramirez added that he is positive Diaz will win medals in the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games, which is one of the three qualifiers she will compete in as part of her Olympic journey.
“I would like to thank the PSC and other sponsors for their continuous support to my campaign. Now, I will continue on my mission to qualify and win gold in Tokyo, and also represent the country for the SEA Games,” said Diaz, who is looking for her first gold medal finish in the SEA Games this November.
Ramirez assured Diaz that the sports agency will bankroll her three other qualifying competitions.
Diaz said she is focused on her mission to win an Olympic gold and that she will decide later on if she is up for another Olympic campaign, if ever, her fifth.
Puentevella bared that aside from Diaz, three other weightlifters are set to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“We are also looking at our veteran weightlifter Nestor Colonia, Elreen Ando and Kristel Macrohon to join Hidilyn to qualify and compete in Tokyo,” said Puentevella.
Ramirez urged the public to support and pray for Diaz, and not pressure her in the coming months.
“The government will continue to give its utmost support for Hidilyn and all our competing athletes in the Southeast Asian Games,” said the sports agency chief.
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