Hidilyn’s ‘Team HD’ inspires


THE first gold medal—plus the Olympic records—were the result of years of hard work Hidilyn Diaz and her “Team HD” put together to make Philippine sports history at the Tokyo Olympics.

And Diaz said she is forever thankful for winning the gold medal in the women’s–55 kgs class of weightlifting.

Looking back, Diaz said that the journey started when she placed ninth overall in the 2018 World Weightlifting Championship in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, one of the qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo Olympics,.

“For me, for ‘Team HD’ we’ll always look back to what we have went through in the past,” Diaz said. “It wasn’t easy, there were doubts at the start of the journey, but we never gave up.”

“I won’t forget the feeling when I finally won the gold medal, and more so, the preparations and training that we put together to achieve our goal,” she said. “…everything that we did, the hard work and sacrifices for our beloved country.”

“Team HD” is composed of Diaz, Chinese mentor Gao Kaiwen, strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo, sports nutritionist Jeaneth Aro and psychologist Dr. Karen Trinidad.

“Team HD’s” journey was featured in a four-part documentary series on the Facebook page of Kick-Start Coffee Brewed Awakening entitled “Let’s Go HD!”

The documentary series allowed the Zamboanga City native to do a “video diary” naturally done in a free flowing and heartfelt videos where it showed glimpses of the struggles and the highs and lows of being an elite athlete while she was in training camp in Malaysia.

“I hope to inspire a lot of Filipino people [with the documentary]. That’s the purpose,” said Diaz, 30. “For all our fellow Filipinos to know about the journey and be inspired.”

Diaz set two Olympic records on her way to the gold medal—at 127kgs on her third and last attempt at clean and jerk and her total of 224 kgs.

She beat China’s Liao Qiuyun, the world record holder who finished at 223 kgs following her 97 kgs in snatch and 126kgs in clean and jerk to earn a silver medal. Kazakhstan’s Chinshanlo Zulfiya placed third with a total of 213kgs—90 kgs in snatch and 123 kgs in clean and jerk.

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