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Philippine hero Diaz targets Olympic defence after SEA Video games gold

HANOI: Philippine hero Hidilyn Diaz gained a second straight weightlifting gold on the Southeast Asian Video games on Friday (Could 20), calling it a primary step in the direction of the defence of her Olympic crown at Paris 2024.

Going through off towards 5 opponents within the girls’s 55kg class, the 31-year-old Tokyo Olympic champion simply beat most of them in Hanoi as she lifted a complete weight of 206kg.

Though effectively in need of the 224kg she lifted within the Japanese capital final summer time, the Philippines’ first and solely Olympic gold medallist was glad so as to add one other title to her rising assortment.

“Though I assumed I used to be not that good, my efficiency not good, I am glad,” mentioned Diaz, who has change into a nationwide hero and superstar again dwelling since Tokyo.

“I am glad to be again once more and preparing for Paris 2024.

“That is the start of my journey in the direction of Paris,” she added of what can be her fifth Olympics.

A slender silver went to Thailand’s 2016 Olympic champion Sanikun Tanasan, with a complete weight of 203kg. Indonesia’s Natasya Beteyob was third with a complete 188kg.

Diaz’s life has been turned the other way up since making historical past for the Philippines finally summer time’s pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics.

She admitted that, a bit like after profitable silver at Rio 2016, she had gone by way of “ache”.

“A number of ache as a result of I get so massive, I get so busy, I haven’t got coaching for what number of days and months and for us weightlifters we actually want to coach six to 9 instances every week, and I used to be not capable of do it after profitable the gold medal,” mentioned Diaz, after a second SEA Video games gold to go together with 2019.

“I am glad to be again once more. To be again and prepare, and , to be in competitors once more,” added Diaz, who has the Olympic rings tattooed on her left bicep.

Thanking her group, household and supporters, Diaz mentioned that one other Olympic gold and success on the 2022 Asian Video games – which was not too long ago postponed in China and will as a substitute happen subsequent yr – was now in her sights.

“I do know I can do it along with Workforce HD, along with the individuals who consider in me,” she mentioned.

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