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#LastLift: Hidilyn Diaz sets sights for second Olympic gold, alludes to retirement

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Aug 08, 2022 11:19 am

Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo has confirmed that she's setting her sights on a second weightlifting gold for the country and referred to the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics as her "#LastLift."

In an Instagram post showing her powdered hands while training, the athlete chronicled her journey in the sport, and how she wants to remain competing for the future of Philippine weightlifting.

"Today marks 6 years since I had won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics," Hidilyn wrote. "I can still remember how magical that day was, how God surprised me with a Silver medal when I was just aiming for Bronze."

"These hands are a reminder that despite all I have accomplished, Weightlifting has pushed me to continue to work my hardest para sa bayan natin."

She disclosed that the honeymoon with her husband and training coach Julius Naranjo is also postponed for the couple to focus on the upcoming Olympics, which are set to take place from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

Hidilyn and Julius have long been preparing for the competition, alongside their wedding that took place in Baguio City on July 26.

"Kahit mahirap, even though I do not need to prove anything, gusto ko pa rin gawin ang lahat ng makakaya ko para sa Weightlifting at sa Pilipinas."

She then asked Filipinos to continue to wish her well, and hinted at her possible retirement: "I am manifesting this dahil ito ang gusto ko at weightlifting ang nagpapasaya sakin. Samahan ninyo ako sa aking desisyon to go for my #LastLift."

Talks of retirement for the athlete have been buzzing since her impressive Olympic gold win and wedding with Naranjo. Back in April of 2022, she addressed her decision to keep competing with a simple: "Why not?"

"Marami nang nagsasabi na 'Ay nanalo ka na ng gold medal, okay na yan, pwede na yan'. But as an athlete, we don't stop there," Diaz shared during a press conference.

"Alam kong kaya ko pa maglaro, alam kong kaya ko pang makipagsabayan sa ibang bansa. Bakit hindi?"

In terms of her plans when the time comes for retirement, Hidilyn has shared that she sees herself becoming a "sports leader" to uplift weightlifting in the country.

"I am looking more at being a sports leader someday to have more influence with the youth and to hopefully spread weightlifting across the country," the 31-year-old shared with ESPN.