HAD it “roller coaster” in 2018, Olympic and Asian Games weightlifting medallist Hidilyn Diaz said the about-to-end year has thought her a lot and is looking to build on it as she moves on with her already-solid career.
Spruced up her impressive resume with a first-ever gold medal in the Asian Games in Indonesia in August, in addition to her silver medal in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, the 27-year-old Diaz said she has become all the more determined to make another go at that elusive gold medal in the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.
But she admitted that 2018 was not all highs as she had to deal with setbacks as well, needing for her to really dig deep and make her way back up.
“For me, 2018 was a roller-coaster ride. There were times when I am was in my peak of my career and then suddenly I dropped from the highest of levels. The standout moment was when I won the first gold medal in the Asian Games. I dreamt about it and set my goals for it and was able to reach it. With guidance from God and with help from the HD Tokyo 2020 core team I was able to achieve it,” said Ms. Diaz in an e-mail correspondence with BusinessWorld as she described how 2018 was for her.
She went on to say that with the way the about-to-end year has panned out for her it would greatly affect how she charts her career from here on.
“The Asian Games is one of the biggest sports events in the world so the expectations are high. For my journey to Tokyo 2020, I will be competing in numerous competitions next year in order for me to qualify for the Olympics. If I was able to make it to the Asian Games then I know I can do it in the Olympics. I am willing to do everything and anything it takes to qualify and win,” said Ms. Diaz, who is a business management student at the College of St. Benilde.
In the Asian Games, Ms. Diaz led a good showing by Filipino women athletes, who accounted for 13 of the country’s 21 total medal haul, including all four gold medals.
Apart from her, also winning gold for the Philippines win the Asian Games were the Philippines women’s golf team and golfer Yuka Saso as well as skateboarder Margielyn Didal.
Other women medallists were Agatha Wong and Divine Wally (wushu), the women’s taekwondo poomsae team, Meggie Ochoa (jiujitsu), Bianca Pagdanganan (golf), Cherry Mae Regalado (pencak silat), Junna Tsukii (karate), Kiyomi Watanabe (judo), and Pauline Lopez (taekwondo). — Michael Angelo S. Murillo