Hidilyn Diaz will return to Malaysia next month to commence her preparations for November’s World Weightlifting Championships in Lima, Peru.
No less than Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) President Monico Puentevella bared as much Tuesday, adding that the Olympic champion will be accompanied by partner and coach Julius Naranjo.
“Mga third week of September, September 20, may balak na silang bumalik ng Malaysia to train for the World Championships in November in Peru,” he told the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum webcast which is powered by Smart and has Upstream Media as official webcast partner.
Diaz spent almost a couple of years in Malaysia preparing for the Tokyo Summer Games. And all the work she put in paid off greatly, as she gave the Philippines its first-ever gold medal in the Olympiad.
According to Puentevella, Team HD wants to bag home gold in the world championship after collecting three bronzes in the last three editions.
“Gusto nilang mag-medalya doon,” the long-time politician and sportsman told the forum which is also presented by San Miguel Corp., MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.
The federation actually wanted Diaz to be part of the planned national open later this year, but it remains uncertain if the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) would allow them to hold such given the COVID-19 situation in the country.
“I was planning to have a national open sana before September 20 in Bacolod, requested ng coaches sa Bacolod, hindi akin. Pero ang problema, IATF kasi baka [hindi] ako payagan,” said Puentevella.
The 75-year-old said that the SWP plans to have it held in Bacolod, but the decision still lies in the hands of the powers-that-be.
“Bacolod is not as bad as Manila e. Sa Bacolod okay pa naman, ang problema IATF, kung ayaw nila — o ang mga local government ayaw,” said Puentevella, himself a former mayor of the said province.
“Tingnan namin ang panahon. Siguro October magkakaroon kami ng October — ‘pag naaprubahan kami ng IATF.”