HIDILYN DIAZ-NARANJO only participated in the snatch where she lifted 100 kgs in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Grand Prix II at the Holiday Villa Hotel & Residence in Doha last Saturday.
But that doesn’t trigger any alarm, according to the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist herself.
“I’m happy with the snatch and my feeling in general,” she told BusinessMirror via online message Sunday. “I gained my confidence.”
Team HD’s keeping its cards closer to its chest with the Paris 2024 Olympics seven months away.
“It was the best decision to keep our eyes towards 2024,” said Diaz-Naranjo’s husband and coach Julius Naranjo. “I couldn’t be prouder of Hidilyn for going out there and hitting a milestone performance in the snatch with 100 kgs.”
Diaz-Naranjo broke the 100 kgs snatch barrier at -59 kgs for the first time since she started her Olympic qualifiers campaign. She lifted 93 kgs at the Bogota world championships as a -59 kgs athlete last December, 99 kgs at the Asian championships in Jinju (South Korea) last May and 97 kgs at the world championships in Riyadh last September.
With a no lift or did not finish across her name, Diaz-Naranjo stands the risk of going down in the world rankings—she’s currently No. 7 and the top 12 in her women’s -59 kgs class will qualify for Paris.
But that’s no cause for alarm.
“Maybe she’ll fall a notch down only,” national weightlifting coach Antonio Agustin told BusinessMirror also Sunday.
Diaz-Naranjo was eighth and last in the snatch in her category where China’s Luo Shifang and North Korea’s Kim II Gyong switched positions on the podium from their Hangzhou Asian Games results last October.
World No. 1 Luo swept the gold medals with 108 kgs in snatch, 139 kgs in clean and jerk for a 247 kgs total lift, shoving Kim (107, 136 and 243) to the silver medal. Canada’s world No. 4 Maude Charron clinched bronze with 104, 129 and 233 kgs.
Diaz-Naranjo stressed she’s fine and denied her knees are hurting.
“Who said so?” she asked BusinessMirror. “And there’s not even that MRI thing.”
She has two Olympic qualifiers to tend to—Asian championships in Tashkent in February and IWF World Cup in March in Phuket.
Erleen Ann Ando, on the other hand, finished 11th among 21 participants in the Group A, B and C sections—she was 17th in snatch (95 kgs), eighth in clean and jerk (120 kgs) for a 215 kgs total lift.
“Ando needs to catch up because she didn’t finish in her two other Olympic qualifiers,” said Agustin, referring to Ando hurting her elbow in the Olympic qualifiers in Bogota and Jinju. “She needs to perform strong performance in the last two qualifiers if she really wants to qualify for Paris.