Asian Games 2023: Hidilyn Diaz falls short of podium finish

Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo missed out on a medal in the 2023 Asian Games, placing fourth in the 59kg category of women’s weightlifting on Monday, Oct. 2, at the Xiaoshan Sports Centre Gymnasium.

Forced to climb to a bulkier weight class for the 2024 Paris Olympics bid, Diaz-Naranjo lifted a total of 223 kilograms on the strength of a 97 in the snatch and 126 in the clean and jerk.

“Ang lalakas nila pero masaya pa rin. And yes, at the end of the day, Paris 2024 pa rin ang pinaka-importante,’’ said Diaz-Naranjo.

Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo of the Philippines [PSC-POC photo]
Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo of the Philippines [PSC-POC photo]

The first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal back in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is seeking a fifth straight appearance at the global sports spectacle, needing only two more qualifying tournaments to make it happen.

North Korea’s Kim Ilgyon captured the gold by shattering all the records one can think of.

The 20-year-old lifting wonder registered 111kg in the snatch and 135kg in the clean and jerk for an accumulated total of 246, a performance that wiped out the existing world record and Asian standard both in the senior and junior ranks.

“So far, so good ang training ko sa 59(kgs). Nakita nyo naman nag-try ako ng 100 at 131. It’s my first time to try it, at ganoon na pala ako kalakas,’’ the 32-year-old Diaz-Naranjo said.

“Malapit na ako sa top 5 or 6, so mga ilang kilos na lang.”

China’s Luo Shifang, who won the Asian championship in May, settled for the silver following a 240 in the total. She lifted 107 in the snatch and 126 in the clean and jerk.

Hobbling due to a hurting knee, Hsing Chun Kuo of Chinese Taipei completed the podium with a 227.

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