Hidilyn inspires young neighbor


HIDILYN DIAZ’S Olympic success has started to cascade to young potentials dreaming of following in her footsteps as Rose Jean Ramos clinched two gold medals in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Championships on Thursday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Turning only 16 on November 6 and already with a stocky frame barely a shade above four feet, Ramos lifted 67 kgs in the snatch to win gold and despite hoisting 80 kgs in clean and jerk, her 147-kg total lift was good enough for her to rule the girls’ -45-kg division.

“Everybody wants to be like her [Diaz],” Ramos, a first-time competitor overseas, told BusinessMirror by phone. “She inspires us all.”

Ramos, currently a 10th grade, is Diaz’s neighbor at Barangay Mampang in Zamboanga City. She trains at the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist’s weightlifting gym she set up in her barangay and is trained by no less than Diaz’s cousin, coach Allen Diaz.

“Our coach always tells us that Ate Hidilyn sacrificed 16 years to achieve her dream of winning an Olympic gold medal,” said Ramos, who took the sport when she was only 12, practically the same age when Diaz started her career.

Poland’s Oliwia Drzazga lifted 85 kgs to bag gold in clean and jerk and settled for a a silver with her total lift of 143 kgs. Spain’s Ruth Fuentefria made 63 kgs in snatch to pocket silver, while Indonesia’s Najla Khoirunnisa earned three bronze medals (snatch 62 kgs, clean and jerk 80 kgs and total lift 142 kgs.

“My opponents are very strong but I never gave up,” Ramos said. “I just followed the advice and instructions of my coach.”

Ramos’s achievement was a major follow up to the bronze medal that 14-year-old Jeaneth Hipolito clinched in snatch (51 kgs) in the girls’ 40-kg class.

Ramos is the second in a brood of four of construction worker Gerry Boy and housewife Ana Rose Ramos. Besides dreaming of becoming another Hidilyn Diaz, she also wants to be a soldier someday. Faith was also a major factor for Ramos.

“I prayed to God and asked for His spiritual guidance before I lifted the barbell,” she said. “I never expected the gold, all I wanted was just a medal.”

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