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Diaz books Malaysian return



Hidilyn Diaz’s storied career is far from over.

The Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) yesterday said Diaz is set to leave for Malaysia next month to train for the IWF World Weightlifting Championship – her first international tournament since winning the country’s first gold medal in the Olympics.

SWP president Monico Puentevella said Diaz will be leaving next month in preparation for the world tourney that would be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 7 to 17 December.

Malaysia played a major role in her rise to stardom.

With the world in a lockdown due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Diaz spent 18 months of training in a house somewhere in Jasin, Melaka.

She stayed there with the mother-in-law of the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation deputy president Ahmad Janius Abdullah until she flew to Tokyo for the Summer Games.

Now, she will be returning to Malaysia again, but this time, as an Olympic champion.

“Yes, she will return to Malaysia this October,” Puentevella told Daily Tribune in a telephone conversation.

“We’re still arranging the date but she will surely leave next month for her preparation. The preparation she made for the Olympics will be used for the tournament.”

Diaz is marching to Tashkent oozing with confidence.

Aside from being the Olympic champion, she is very familiar in Tashkent as it is where she formally punched her slot in the Summer Games during the Asian Weightlifting Championships last April.

Although she finished fourth, it was still enough to send her to the Olympics.

Puentevella said Diaz is still in Bacolod City which hailed her as an adopted daughter.