By WAYLON GALVEZ
Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz is still keeping her options open with regards to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) she needs to join to complete the required number of events and earn a spot in the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Diaz, who participated in five OQTs, including the World Cup in Rome last January where she captured the gold medal, said she is waiting for schedules from various international weightlifting competitions before finalizing her plans.
“Wala pa din, and wala pang idea,” said Diaz in a message to Manila Bulletin-Tempo Tuesday. “Basta need ko maglaro hanggang April 30, 2021 kasi yun ang (deadline) date ng qualifying.”
Diaz is currently training in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her team – Chinese mentor Kaiwen Gao, strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo and therapist Belen Bañas.
They have been in KL since February in preparation for the Asian Championship in Thailand.
The event, however, was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tokyo Olympics was also reset to July 2021.
The 29-year-old Diaz topped an online tournament last July when she ruled the 59kg division of the Eleiko Email International Lifters event, but she said that there is no online competition at the moment.
Diaz said she couldn’t be frustrated with what is happening with no physical or online tournament on schedule.
Based on the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) calendar of events, tournaments have all been cancelled this year, while the 2021 schedule is yet to be confirmed.
In the calendar are the East Asian Championship in Korea and the International Fajr Cup in Iran in February, the European Championships in Russia and the Pan-American Championships in Dominican Republic in April.
“Wala ako magawa, kailangan tanggapin na ganun talaga,” Diaz said.
Diaz said she is hoping for the Tokyo Olympics to push through, but with strict health protocols.
International Olympic Committee vice president John Coates said recently that he Summer Games would proceed with or without the threat of COVID-19.
“Syempre gusto ko na matuloy ang Tokyo Olympics. Pero kailangan lang talaga ang safety protocols,” said Diaz.