Diaz-Naranjo eyes gold, member of IWF Athletes’ Commission in Bogota

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TOKYO Olympics gold winner Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo will try to kill two birds with one stone in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships set Dec. 5 to 16 in Bogota, Colombia where she hopes to strike gold and get elected as an Asian member of the IWF Athletes’ Commission.

Ms. Diaz-Naranjo was one of the three nominated to run for a spot in the powerful commission with the other two being Iran’s Behad Salimikordasiabi and Qatar’s Fares Ibrahim Elbakh, who are also Olympic champions like the former.

Ms. Diaz-Naranjo will spearhead the country’s campaign in the 12-day meet alongside Asian and Southeast Asian champion Vanessa Sarno, who is being tipped as the heiress to the former’s throne.

Also seeing action are Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando, Kristel Macrohon, Rosegie Ramos, Lovely Inan, Nestor Colonia, John Ceniza and John Pacaldo.

It will be the first competition for Ms. Diaz-Naranjo after her golden performance in last May’s Hanoi SEA Games.

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella said the Bogota tilt would be the first of several tournaments where 2024 Paris Olympic qualifying points are at stake.

Mmess. Diaz-Naranjo and Ando went through the same qualifying cycle last time and made it to the Tokyo Games where the former ended up delivering the country a historic Olympic mint.

And Ms. Diaz-Naranjo will be hoping to have a flying start on her way to Paris. — Joey Villar