Hidilyn goes for gold

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THE world watches as Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo tries to annex a gold medal at the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships to the Olympic title she won last year in Tokyo.

“This is my comeback and it’s very, very important for Team HD to strategize,” said the 31-year-old Diaz-Naranjo who competes in the women’s 55 kgs class in the world championships Colombia is hosting in Bogota.

Diaz-Naranjo’s event is set at 8 a.m. (Manila time) Thursday.

Diaz-Naranjo will face challenges from 11 weightlifters led by top-seeded Colombian Rosalba Estela Morales del Aguila, the US’s Shyla Mariah Moore and Chinese-Taipei’s Guan Ling Chen.

Diaz-Naranjo said everything went well in training although she admitted that she’s “a little bit nervous” as she prayed for the only gold missing from her collection that includes victories in the Asian Games, World Cup the Southeast Asian Games.

“I’m at my usual weight (55 kgs), my strength is also there and I feel so excited,” she said. “It’s really hard to come back, but I believe everything is possible with God.”

Day 1 of the competitions on Wednesday, meanwhile, didn’t go the other Filipino bets’ way.

Rio 2016 Olympian Nestor Colonia finished seventh with a total lift of 243 kgs in the men’s 55 kgs ruled by Thailand’s Theerapong Silachai (265 kgs). Vietnam’s Ngo Son Dinh (260 kgs) clinched silver and South Korea’s Kim Yongho (also 260 kgs) bagged bronze.

Rosegie Ramos and Lovely Inan didn’t make the top eight of the women’s 49 kgs class.

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