Paris 2024 on Hidilyn Diaz’s mind

Hidilyn Diaz starts to pave her way for another gold medal in Paris 2024.

HANOI—It’s mission accomplished for Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz at the 31st Southeast Asian Games as she retained her title in women’s 55 kg of weightlifting.

And moments after beating Thailand’s Tanasan Sanikun, a gold medalist at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, by three kilos, Diaz’s thoughts zeroed in on another tour of duty in Paris 2024.

“My journey to Paris [Olympics] starts here, so this SEA Games gold is very important for me,” Diaz said. “The SEA Games are very meaningful to me. After winning the gold medal [in Tokyo], I’m still here to give our country another gold.”

Diaz delivered one of the three golds that the Philippines won on Friday—in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang of eSports and Shugen Nagano in men’s 66 kg class of judo.

With that haul, though, the Philippines slid to fifth in the overall medals race from fourth, with Singapore moving up to third and Indonesia improving to fourth.

Filipino-Japanese judoka Shugen Nakano retained his title in the men’s under-66 kg class of judo after he beat Vietnamese Hoang Phuc Truong, 1-0, in the gold medal round through a half point score at the Hoai Duc Gymnasium in the Vietnamese capital.

Also on Friday, the billiards players assured the Philippines of two more gold medals after forging an all-Filipino final showdown.

Chezka Centeno and Rubilen Amit downed their separate rivals in the semifinals to figure in the women’s 10-ball singles gold medal play at the Ha Dong District Sporting Hall. They will clash at 10 a.m. on Saturday for the gold.

Newly crowned 9-ball champion Johann Chua and Carlo Biado again arranged an all-Filipino duel for the 10-ball men’s singles crown after humbling their Singaporean opponents in the semifinals. They will play at 2 p.m. Saturday for the title.


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