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Diaz eyed as flag-bearer of PH team

RIO Olympics silver medalist Hidylin Diaz is being considered as the flag-bearer of the national team that will compete in the 2nd Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games set Sept. 17 to 27 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, according to national team chief of mission Monsour del Rosario.

“We are offering Hidylin that honor because she is our Rio Olympic silver medalist and it will add more prestige to our contingent,” Del Rosario said yesterday.

Aside from being the national team’s flag-bearer, Diaz may also compete in the event that has attracted a record 62 nations, including participants from the Asia-Oceania region.

In the event that she competes, Diaz cautioned Filipino sports fans from expecting her to win the gold, considering that world-class lifters from North Korea, Thailand and China are also set to compete.

Diaz is also committed to see action in the world weightlifting championships in Anaheim, California on Nov. 28 to Dec. 5, an event where she took three bronze medals in the Houston edition two years ago that paved the way for her participation in the Rio Games.

Weightlifting Association of the Philippines vice president Elbert Atilano Jr., who discovered Diaz in Zamboanga City and has been her mentor ever since, revealed that his prized ward has put weight and now tips the scales at 60 kilograms (132.27 pounds).

We are actually priming her for next year’s Asian Games, which kicks off the qualifying competitions for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” he added. ( BONG PEDRALVEZ, Malaya)