Mendoza: Lifter Diaz training almost non-stop

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

How do you make a winning athlete?

Copy the journalist’s creed of conduct: accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.

The facts must be accurate.

The records must be accurate.

The data must be accurate.

Result? Good reporting at all times.

Thus, parenthetically, the athlete’s three rules for success are training, training, training.

Hidilyn Diaz must have followed that to the letter, leading to her weightlifting silver victory in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

She must have doubled or even tripled her training regimen after failing to win a medal in the Olympiads of 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London.

So, if her training, training and training battle cry was embellished with the mantra “try and try until you succeed” going to Brazil four years ago, don’t be surprised. For, it was what it was: She won by trying harder, training harder.

I am almost sure that Diaz is into that Spartan routine again as she prepares to capture a slot in her fourth Olympiad, moved from July this year to July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are still wondering why Diaz isn’t seeded to next year’s Olympics, it’s like this: Slots are up for grabs in qualifying rounds worldwide to screen only the fittest and give each country a chance to be represented.

For example, China has, as of now, four weightlifters ahead of the No. 5 Diaz in world rankings. But only one of the four will advance to Tokyo in accordance with rules.

So, in spite of Diaz’s Olympic silver in 2016, it does not automatically qualify her as she needs to complete the required qualifying points to make it to Tokyo. She has 3,717 points now in the 55-kilogram category, missing the clinching Colombia qualifier that was canceled early this year because of Covid-19.

Unrelenting, she’s been training that hard for nine months now, moving recently to Malacca from Kuala Lumpur when Malaysia declared another virus-driven lockdown in the capital.

“I have to continue training,” Diaz told June Navarro of the Inquirer. “...If you miss training even just for a week or two, it would mean back to zero again.”

See what I mean? She knows. It is just a matter of time before she nails that Olympic gold.