CHAMPIONS. Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (left) with world bowling champion and Philippine Sports Commission commissioner Olivia "Bong" Coo in this undated photo. Diaz was chosen as one of three athletes to join the International Weightlifting Federation Executive Board. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz was chosen as one of three athletes who will join the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Executive Board.

Also elected during the IWF Athletes Commission online meeting on Jan. 11 were chairperson Forrester Osei of Ghana and Luisa Peters of Cook Islands. Diaz will serve as Osei's deputy.

The three athletes will serve as full voting members of the IWF Congress.

“It’s a huge honor to be reappointed by my peers as Chair of the IWF Athletes’ Commission. I’m very excited to continue the work we’ve begun – for example, on the athlete scholarships project – with the benefit of even stronger representation on the IWF Executive Board alongside Hidilyn and Luisa. As athletes, we know we have a key role to play in shaping a positive future for our sport in the crucial months ahead," said Osei in a news release posted on the IWF website on Jan. 13.

IWF President Mohammed Jalood said he was delighted to welcome the three athletes to the Executive Board.

“We look forward to working closely together as we seek to shape a new future for weightlifting, which places athletes at the centre of everything we do. As a Board, we have been clear that strengthening athlete representation in decision-making is a key stepping stone to greater accountability and progress in our sport," said Jalood, who is also vice president of the Asian Weightlifting Federation.

Diaz ruled the women's 55kg. category at the 88th IWF World Championships in Bogota, Colombia last December.

The 31-year-old athlete from Zamboanga City lifted 93kg. in the snatch and 114kg. in the clean-and-jerk for a total of 207kgs. in the competition which was the first qualifying meet for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

With her category excluded in Paris, Diaz decided to move up to 59kg., hoping to make it to the competition proper and give the Philippines another medal. (PNA)