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Hidilyn Diaz not joining weightlifting worlds

Hidilyn Diaz won't be competing in the IWF World Championships as confirmed by weightlifting chief Monico Puentevella. Reuters (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--As it turns out, Hidilyn Diaz's Tokyo Olympic gold could be her only major championship for 2021.

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella confirmed on Friday that Diaz, the first Filipino to win it all in an official Olympic event, will not be seeing action in the IWF World Championships in Tashkent starting on Dec. 7 as first reported by GMA News' Bea Micaller the night before.

This means she will miss out on a chance to better from her three consecutive bronze medal finishes in the biennial meet since 2015 as she would have been a heavy favorite to take home the women's under-55-kilogram gold.

However, the former Bacolod mayor believes Diaz does not need to prove herself further since she already ended the Philippines' long wait for Olympic gold.

"Wala naman siyang dapat i-prove pa. May gold at silver na siya sa Olympics eh," Puentevella said, also referring to Diaz's Rio Olympic silver in 2016.

The 30-year-old Diaz is currently training with fiance Julius Naranja in Melaka, Malaysia again, but it now appears this is ahead of next year's Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi.

Despite Hidilyn's absence, the Philippines will still play in the world championships as fellow Olympian Elreen Ando, Asian champion Vanessa Sarno, SEA Games gold medal winner Kristel Macrohon, and Mary Grace Diaz will represent the country in the said event.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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