In fine form

Hidilyn Diaz

RIO Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz was in outstanding form in winning the innovative Eleiko Email International Lifters Tournament recently.

Spending the lockdown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where she was supposed to hold her training camp for the now-postponed Olympic weightlighting qualifiers, Diaz lifted 216 kgs. to capture the gold medal in the women's 59 kg. category, which had 51 participants.

"Dapat maglalaro ako kahapon (Tuesday) sa #Tokyo2020 (pero) dahil sa Covid-19, na-postpone ang Olympics na-move next year. Buti na lang may online competition, nakabuhat ako ng 95 kgs. sa snatch, 121 kgs. sa clean and jerk," said the 29-year old Diaz through her Twitter account.

Sharp as ever, Diaz beat Australia’s Fatima Yakabu and South Africa’s Johanni Taljaard, who posted 189 and 188 kgs. to settle for silver and bronze, respectively.

Diaz thinks online competitions have helped her to stay focused on her goals - which includes giving the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal.

"I'm grateful that I competed in this event, I was able to prepare and set my mind to it," said Diaz, who also won the 30th Southeast Asian Games gold last year.

The online competition organized by the Oceania Weightlifting Federation to mark the original July 24 opening date of the Tokyo Games has attracted 751 entries from 63 countries.

The event was specifically set up to allow lifters from around the world, who had to train at home as a result of being in lockdown or quarantined due to the coronavirus, the opportunity to enter a competition.

"It turned out to be a great event, with great numbers all round," said OWF general secretary Paul Coffa.

"This exercise has been very productive, giving those athletes who are having difficulties training in proper facilities and under restrictive measures, the opportunity to compete in a tournament given the Covid 19 challenges," he added.