The Tokyo Olympics is Hidilyn Diaz’s fourth stint in the Games. And it could be her final one.
But the 2016 Rio silver medalist does not worry about the future of weightlifting, the sport she made Filipino people conscious of.
Why would she be? The future is already here.
In fact, one would be going with her to the Olympics in Elreen Ando.
Ando qualified in the quadrennial event on Independence Day after making the continental quota.
“Nakausap ko si Ando noong day na nag-qualify siya. Noong nakita ko, ‘Woah! Oo nga ‘no! Qualified si Ando!’,” shared Diaz in the penultimate episode of Let’s Go HD!, a four-part documentary by Kick-Start Coffee Brewed Awakening.
“Sobrang saya ko para sa kanya. As an ate, I will always be happy with the next na maging Olympian.
“I’m happy na hindi ako nag-iisa,” added the Zamboanga City native, who has been locked down in Malaysia for 17 months to train.
Besides Ando, the 30-year-old Olympic veteran also mentioned a few names that are already making waves in their own way in the weightlifting industry.
She mentioned 2019 Southeast Asian Games medalists Kristel Macrohon (71kg gold), her cousin Mary Flor Diaz (45kg bronze), and Margaret Colonia (59kg silver).
“Lahat sila medalists sa SEA Games. Dahan-dahan, sila ang susunod sa akin,” said Diaz proudly, like an older sister in awe of her younger siblings.
“Napakalaking bagay na may sumusunod na mga bata sa Olympics.”