From time to time, during the video interview, Hidilyn Díaz rubbed his hands and exhaled loudly, as if trying to relieve the mounting pressure of the impending Tokyo Olympics.
She carries much of the hope of a country that is still seeking its first Olympic gold; “The pressure is so great,” Diaz told Inquirer’s Sport IQ on Friday night, deflecting expectations with a childish smile.
There’s a reason people expect her to end a nearly century-long quest. Diaz was the silver medalist in her weightlifting division during the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the current World Cup champion. The bad news is that his division will feature Liao Qiuyun of China, the world’s top-ranked lifter who re-established records in Thailand during the recent World Championships.
The good news? According to strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo, we haven’t seen anything yet. [can] Expect Hidilyn to lift weights that I’ve never seen before, ”he said.
“She is on the right track. She’s going to put on a show, I’ll tell you. Expect to see the best Hidilyn to date. “
In fact, it is a different Hidilyn Díaz who will fly to Tokyo from her training base in Malaysia.
“He used to have superstitions,” said the 30-year veteran. “When I was young, I used to believe in many things. That you should wear this and that as a lucky charm. “
“But now, I don’t have any.
“I’m more inclined to train hard and train smart,” Diaz added.
Performance wise, he will compete in Tokyo with the backing of a full team: “Team HD,” he calls his squad.
That team is made up of Naranjo, Gao Kaiwen (weightlifting coach), Jeaneth Aro (nutritionist) and Dr. Karen Trinidad (psychologist).
She credits her team, and supporters like the MVP Sports Foundation, for keeping her in tip-top shape, focused, and ready.
“You’re not going to win by just showing up,” he said. “You will have to work hard.”
And he gave it his all in training, even solving the weight problems as early as April. And he hopes that all that hard work will translate into the victory everyone is hoping for. INQ
Follow Inquirer Sports special coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics here.
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