Tokyo—You ain’t seen nothing yet from Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz.
The Filipina weightlifter’s strength and conditioning coach in Julius Naranjo made this promise.
“You will expect Hidilyn to lift weights that you’ve never seen before. She’s on track. She’s going to put on a show,” Naranjo said.
Diaz tries to better her 2016 silver medal in Rio when she shoots for the gold in the 55-kg division of the weightlifting competitions on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Tokyo International Forum here.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” Diaz, who is competing in her fourth Olympics said before flying to Tokyo.
In her path is Chinese world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China, who many have tagged as the favorite in the 55-kilogram division.
Naranjo added that Diaz has been hitting new personal marks this late in her career, a good sign as she prepares to bolster the Philippines’ medal hopes in the games.
Like Diaz, Margielyn Didal wants a bigger accolade after winning both the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games.
She plunges into action in the skateboarding competitions at the Ariake Sports Park on Monday for a shot at glory in the initial staging of the sport in the quadrennial meet.
Competition will be something new in its Olympic pilot staging as participants battle in a bigger, grander course.
“Kung baga sa basketball, dati half-court lang ang inilalaro mo, ngayon full court,” said Skateboard Pilipinas president Carl Sambrano.
Women’s preliminaries start at 8:30 a.m. (7:30 a.m. in Manila). The final is at 1:30 p.m.
Also Monday, flyweight no. 25 Carlo Paalam makes his Olympic debut at 11:03 a.m. (Philippine time) as he battles 25-year-old Irishman Brendan Irvine, ranked no. 32.
On the same day, featherweight Nesthy Petecio faces the biggest thorn in her road to gold when she fights top-seed Lin Yu-Ting of Chinese Taipei in the Round of 16 at 12:39 p.m. (Philippine time)
The two boxers will try to draw inspiration from Irish Magno’s most impressive win so far in the games, a 5-0 shutout of Kenyan foe Christine Ongare on Sunday in the flyweight preliminaries.
In rowing, Cris Nievarez finished fifth in his quarterfinal group in the men’s single sculls’ rowing competitions at the Sea Forest Waterway.
The 21-year-old Nievarez, one of the youngest in the 19-strong Team Philippines in these quadrennial summer games, timed seven minutes and 50.74 seconds, about half a minute slower than his qualification clocking on Friday.
“Headwind kasi today, hindi kagaya noong Friday,” said Nievarez, who will still row in Monday’s classification semifinals. “Advantage sa mga rowers na mas malalaki at mas mabigat.”
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