Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz said that Filipina weightlifters lack international exposure.
Diaz bemoaned that women’s weightlifting was not included in the 2017 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games to be held in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on August 19 to 31.
The 25-year old Diaz said that she learned of it last year.
“Actually, we knew last year that there will be no events for women’s weightlifting in the SEA Games. As an athlete, I am saddened by that decision,” Diaz told The Manila Times on Tuesday.
As much as she wants to compete in the SEA Games, Diaz said they couldn’t do anything about it since it was the decision of the host country Malaysia. Diaz is preparing to compete in another Asian weightlifting tournament in August.
Diaz said that what bothers her most is the lack of opportunity for young Filipina weightlifters to excel in the sport.
“Our athletes here in the Philippines were deprived of the exposure they need,” she said.
Diaz ended the country’s 20-year medal drought in the Olympics after winning the silver medal in the 53-kilogram class weightlifting contest in the Rio Games.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID