The Philippines’ weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz has secured a Tokyo Olympics berth after her strong finish at the 2021 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Uzbekistan, her first event this year.
The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist claimed her spot in the Tokyo Olympics after placing 4th overall in Tashkent on April 18.
Diaz lifted a 94 kg snatch although her earlier 90 kg snatch on her second attempt was all she needed to officially qualify for the quadrennial games to be held this summer 2021. The Filipino champion also recorded 118 kg in the clean and jerk.
The Olympic Channel reports that according to the weightlifting qualification rules for the Tokyo Olympics, the top-eight in the world rankings in each weight category as of April 30, 2021, will qualify for the Games. Diaz, the World No. 2 still had to make one more final appearance at an Olympics Qualifying event to claim her spot.
The 30-year-old Diaz was on her way to secure her return to the Olympics with just one more participation in a qualifier event in Colombia last March 2020 but the Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions halted her plans.
Diaz also joined the weightlifting events in Beijing (2008) and London (2012) before her silver-winning performance at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“I have been continuously working hard to achieve that dream [of winning a Games gold for the Philippines]. I hope all my sacrifices will pay off,’’ Diaz stated in the Olympic Channel report.
Hidilyn Diaz is the seventh Filipino to qualify in the Tokyo Games after pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam, and Nesthy Petecio. The Philippine delegation is on a mission to win the country’s first-ever gold at the Tokyo Olympics.
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