Manila, Philippines, April 12, 2021: The Philippines’ Asian Games weightlifting champion Hidilyn Diaz has arrived in Tashkent to complete her preparations for the Asian Weightlifting Federation Championships.
The Asian Championships will take place from April 16-25 and Diaz will complete her mandatory six qualifying tournaments as stipulated by the International Weightlifting Federation. This will confirm her place at Tokyo 2020, which is a formality due to her high points tally from previous ranking events.
Diaz, 30, will be competing in her fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo and has said she will settle for nothing less than improving on her silver medal at 53kg at Rio 2016.
Since then, she has gone on to win Asian Games gold in Jakarta in 2018 and SEA Games gold in Manila in 2019 before picking up a hat trick of titles in snatch, clean & jerk and total lift at her last meet – the Roma World Cup in Italy in January 2020.
“14 months of waiting,” she posted on her Instagram account before departure from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she has been based for 14 months due to pandemic restrictions.
“See you Uzbekistan! Represent the Philippines 🇵🇭 together with TeamHD in Asian Weightlifting Championships 2021.
“Pray for our safety and hope the team Philippines will perform well in Olympic Qualifying.”
Diaz is one of the country's top bets to bring home the elusive Olympic gold medal come the Tokyo Games this July.
The IWF revised qualification system has been developed around key principles of clean competition and fairness. The criteria whereby weightlifters must participate in at least six competitions throughout the overall period starting November 1, 2018 has been maintained.
There will be a total of 14 weightlifting events at Tokyo 2020 and 196 athletes - 98 women and 98 men: 56 through world rankings, 35 through continental rankings, three host nation places and four IOC invitations.