MANILA – Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo will see action in the upcoming World Championships and the Asian Games.
The World Championships, which will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from Sept. 3 to 14, is a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The 12th Asian Games, on the other hand, is scheduled from Sept. 23 to Oct. 3 in Hangzhou, China.
Diaz-Naranjo delivered the country's first-ever Olympic gold medal when she ruled the women's 55kg category in 2021. She also topped the same category at the 2022 World Championships in Bogota, Colombia.
The 32-year-old lifter from Zamboanga has moved up to 59kg category and her participation in Saudi Arabia would boost her chance of making it to the Olympics for the fifth time. She was a silver medalist in Rio (2016).
Joining her at the World Championships are Rosegie Ramos and Lovely Inan (W49kg), Elreen Ando (W59kg), Vanessa Sarno and Kristel Macrohon (W71kg), and John Febuar Ceniza (M61kg).
They will be accompanied by Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) President Monico Puentevella; coaches Ramon Solis, Richard Pep Agosto, Antonio Agustin Jr. and Julius Irvin Hikaru Naranjo; and Team HD members Jeaneth Aro (nutritionist) and Karen Trinidad (sports psychologist).
The Asian Games-bound delegation is composed of Diaz-Naranjo, Ramos, Ando (W64kg), Sarno (W76kg) and Ceniza (M61kg); coaches Nicolas Jaluag, Patrick Lee, Christopher Bureros and Naranjo; Puentevella and Mark Rommel Aliño (team leader).
Macrohon was a gold medalist at the 2019 Manila SEA Games, while Ando and Sarno won gold medals and Inan got a silver at the 2023 Cambodia SEAG last May.
Early this month, Sarno and Ramos both delivered three gold medals at the Asian Youth and Junior Championships in New Delhi, India. They duplicated their performances in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last year. (PNA)