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Hidilyn Diaz, lifters off to Rome for OQT

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By Waylon Galvez

There is no rest for Hidilyn Diaz and other top Filipino weightlifters with two important events lined up for them in a bid to make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hidilyn Diaz (MB Photo / Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Captured using Canon 5D Mark IV with 300mm f4 lens / #TeamCanonPH #CanonProfessionalService #CPS)

Hidilyn Diaz and Filipino weightlifters are set to compete in the Roma World Cup on January next year and the 2020 Asian Championships on April. (MB Photo / Rio Leonelle Deluvio / Captured using Canon 5D Mark IV with 300mm f4 lens)

Fresh from claiming her first gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games here, Diaz is set to compete in the Roma World Cup on Jan. 27 to 31, 2020 in Italy, and the 2020 Asian Championships on Apr. 16 to 25 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

“Of course tuloy-tuloy lang ang training ko after ng SEA Games kasi kasunod nito is yung Roma World Cup and then next is Asian Championship, pareho itong qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo Olympics,” said Diaz.

“So napaka-importate, lalo to stay in shape mentally and physically kasi malapit lang ang pagitan ng SEA Games and World Cup. It’s a challenge pero ok naman so far,” added the 28-year-old Diaz.

The biennial meet also served as OQT for weightlifting, and Diaz – together with other medalists in the SEA Games – earned corresponding points from the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). She ruled the -55kg women’s category in the SEA Games.

So far, Diaz is at No. 5 in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification ranking system with a total of 2,731.7699 points.

The top eight weightlifters earn outright spot in the Tokyo Games. Diaz won the silver medal
in the previous Rio Olympics in Brazil.

Currently leading in the 55kg are Chinese weightlifters Jiang Huihua (3,492.7227), Liao Qiuyun (3,402.7612), Zhang Wanqiong (3,351.4374) and Li Yajun (3,209.3427), while at No. 6 is Muattar Nabieva of Uzbekistan (2,715.0661), Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo at No. 7 (2,659.9042) and Maria Alexandra Escobas Guerrero of Ecuador at No. 8 (2,623.4874).

Under the IWF rules, athletes can earn points by joining different qualifying tournaments with corresponding levels. Tournaments like the world championships or world cup is categorized as gold status, continental and regional meets – including the SEA Games – are silver, while invitational events is bronze.

Aside from Diaz, also expected to see action in the last two OQT in weightlifting is teammate Kristel Macrohon, who won the women’s 71kg category in the SEA Games.

Joining them in the tournament are silver medal winners Elreen Ann Ando (64kg), Margaret Colonia in (59kg) and John Fabuar Ceniza (55kg), as well as bronze medalists Mary Rose Diaz (45kg) and Nestor Colonia (67kg).

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