After Filipino-American cyclist Daniel Caluag, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz could be the next athlete added to the lean Philippine contingent for the London Olympics this July.
Philippine Weightlifting Federation (PWF) president Monico Puentevella said Thursday that the 21-year old native from Zamboanga City has a strong chance of making it to the Olympics this July.
Puentevella said Diaz is currently ranked No. 9 in Asia and her chance to earn a spot depends on the results of last qualifying tournament in Asia-Oceana in the middle of this month.
“Hidilyn could still make it to the Olympics based on her performance because the Top 10 in Asia will go the Olympics,” said Puentevella.
“And based on the analyst from IWF (International Weightlifting Federation), the Asia-Oceana is the weakest continental qualifying tournament and they predict Hidilyn will be accepted,” he added.
Diaz, who played in the 2008 Summer Games as a wildcard entry, ranked ninth after the qualifiers in Paris and Korea but she could be dislodged outside the top 10 if other weightlifters in the last qualifying tournament perform bettern than her.
But still, Puentevella, a former president of the Asian Weightlifting Federation, said Diaz could be again a wildcard entry in London is she ended up outside the Magic 10.
The Philippines had its eighth qualifier in Olympics in Caluag, who figured prominently in three tough qualifying tournaments to earn a spot in the BMX event.
“I knew from the start that Caluag would get it. He really trained and worked hard to earn the slot,” Philcycling president and Tagaytay City Mayor Bambol Tolentino said in a statement.
The entry of Caluag, a four-time BMX top pro in the US, makes the PHL roster in London to eight athletes.
Those who already qualified were swimmers Jessie King Lacuna and Jasmine Alkhaldi, boxer Mark Anthony Barriga, judoka Tomohiko Hoshina, skeet shooter Brian Rosario, long jumper Marestella Torres and steeplechaser Rene Herrera.