Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz said that for weightlifting be included in the 2024 Paris Olympics, the competition should be organized and ran by the International Olympics Committee (IOC).
Diaz said that as an athlete, she is clueless as to what is going to happen to the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), which is facing suspension from the IOC due to alleged doping and corruption, as well as leadership issues due to warring factions.
Diaz, however, said that the idea of IOC taking over is a possibility.
“Sa totoo lang hindi namin alam kung ano ang mangyayari. Pero ako ang alam ko, hindi mawawala ang weightlifting. Magko-control niyan IOC,” said the 30-year-old Diaz said Wednesday, August 25 in a message to
Diaz became the first Filipino to capture a gold medal in the history of its participation in the Olympics, or since the 1924 Paris Summer Games. She ruled the 55-kilogram women’s category in the last Olympics.
Diaz said that while it affects the athletes whenever a federation he or she belongs gets suspended, there is still something positive to gain if it happens to weightlifting.
“Kawawa ang mga atleta. Pero kung yun ang gagawin ng IOC, wala kaming magagawa para lang mabigyan ng leksyon ang IWF leaders,” said Diaz, who has participated in four Olympics including the 2016 Rio Games where she claimed a silver medal.
The sentiments of Diaz is similar to what Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Bambol Tolentino said last week, as he too mentioned that the IOC may step in to organize the weightlifting event in the Paris Olympics.
“Just like in boxing, ang magpa-patakbo ang IOC,” said Tolentino, referring to competitions in boxing supervised and organized by the IOC after the committee suspended AIBA – of the International Boxing Association – in 2019.
Officials of the IWF are expected to meet starting Sunday in Doha, Qatar to discuss possible changes with its leadership and policies.
Former Asian Weightlifting Federation (AWF) president Monico Puentevella, currently the president of the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP), expressed optimism that the IWF would be able to find a solution and avoid suspension from the IOC.
Meantime, Diaz, Nesthy Petecio and Eumir Marcial received their incentives from the Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation on Wednesday.
Diaz, Petecio and Marcial met with Siklab Atleta executive director and Phoenix Petroleum executive Raymond Zorilla during a courtesy call Wednesday, Aug. 25 at the Udenna Tower where the three also posed for pictures while carrying a symbolic mock check.
Diaz got P5 million from the foundation plus free fuel for life from Phoenix.
Petecio got P3 million for claiming a silver in the women’s featherweight division while P1 million was handed to fellow boxer Marcial for winning bronze in the men’s middleweight class.
Boxer Carlo Paalam, who was
to attend, will also get P3 million after his silver medal finish in men’s flyweight. Paalam went home to Cagayan de Oro City the other day.
(With a report by Jonas Terrado)