Puentevella not sure if Hidilyn Diaz will continue her lifting glory

THE WORLD Weightlifting Championships set in Bogota, Colombia in December this year could decide whether Tokyo Games gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz will continue in her pursuit for more Olympic glory or just end it to focus on her personal life.

“If she does not do well in Colombia, I think I have to talk to both of them as one of their godfathers to just focus on family because she has nothing more to prove, she deserves to be happy,” said Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella during yesterday’s online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum that coincided with Ms. Diaz’s wedding with her trainer Julius Naranjo in Baguio.

“After her wedding, we will see in the World Championship if she still really has something left in her, I would tell her to go for it. But if there is really none left, I will advice her to raise a family,” he added.

One other problem that could pose as another threat to Ms. Diaz’s bid to have another go at the quadrennial event was her division — the 55 kilograms — was scrapped from the Paris calendar.

“If she does well, she would have to think if she’s willing to go down on weight at 49kgs or go higher at 59kgs where she would compete with Elreen Ando,” said Mr. Puentevella. “If she goes up, she would compete against bigger women. If she choses 49kgs, she would need to go down by six kilos and she would be forced not to eat.”

Mr. Puentevella also announced Ms. Diaz’s participation in the National Open set Aug. 8 to 12 in Tagbilaran, Bohol.

“Hidilyn will be peforming on an exhibition basis in Tagbilaran fresh from honeymoon,” he said.

It would also be a busy year not just for Ms. Diaz but also for the rest of the national team as the country is scheduled to join the Asian Senior Championships slated in October in Bahrain where teenage sensation Vanessa Sarno will be eyeing to improve on her two-gold, one-silver haul in the 71kg class in last year’s edition in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

But whether or not Ms. Diaz could make it that far, Mr. Puentevella remains optimistic of the country’s chances in Paris.

“A gold and silver in Paris,” he said. — Joey Villar