Golden girl back in town


HIDILYN DIAZ is back home after spending 20 days in Malacca where she managed to get a respite from the hustle and bustle of a celebrity life the moment she won the country’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo in July.

And now that she’s back, Diaz also returned to the gym to keep her gold medal-winning form and at the same time focus on her studies at the College of Saint Benilde.

“We’re already here and we’re already doing twice-a-day training,” the 30-year-old Diaz told BusinessMirror on Tuesday.

Training for Diaz and fiancé Julius Naranjo is at the Stronghold Athletics gym in Greenhills, San Juan, some 40-minute drive—minus heavy traffic—from the couple’s condominium unit in Eastwood which was one of her multi-million rewards for breaking the gold medal quest.

Diaz and Naranjo, now her head coach on top of his responsibility in strength and conditioning, flew to Malacca, Malaysia, last October 30 with the hope to be championship form for the world weightlifting championships set next month in Tashkent.

But they called off their participation in the Uzbekistan capital, saying Diaz won’t have enough window to get her form back to the Tokyo Olympics level.

“There are many more world championships in the future,” Diaz said then as she still has to win the mint that’s missing from her collection after the Olympics, Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games.

The supposed training turned into a quiet vacation of sorts for Diaz, who, after her July 26 Olympic conquest, was deluged with dozens of TV appearances and guesting, product endorsements, among others.

They arrived last November 20 and had to undergo a four-day quarantine at the Discovery Primea in Makati City. Now free, Diaz said she’ll not only be training but will also diligently attend to her Business Management course.

“I’m so busy with my studies especially that the finals are approaching,” said Diaz, who has four terms to go before finishing her program at Saint Benilde.

Diaz took a leave of absence from school for practically one school year when she prepared for Tokyo in her Malaysia training camp.

“It’s a long way to go,” said Diaz said of her studies. She’s an incoming junior next year.

Up next for Diaz is her gold medal defense at the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi in May and the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in September.

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