Sports

The IWF Chair gives Hidilyn a voice in charting the future of sport


Hidilyn Diaz at Tokyo 2020 Olympics STORY: IWF board seat gives Hidilyn a voice in charting the future of the struggling sport

In her new role, Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo (pictured center) will take a broader look at her sport — and the problems that lurk it. (File photo from Agence France-Presse)

Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo has scored another major milestone in her legendary career as world weightlifting champion and Olympic gold medalist.

The nation’s first gold medalist at the Olympics has gained more influence at the highest level of her sport globally as Diaz-Naranjo joins the powerful Executive Board (EB). of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

The four-time Olympic athlete, who won the gold medal in the women’s 55 kg class at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, sat in the 10-person IWF EB for the first time during a recent online meeting.

“I have just watched and listened to our discussions at the IWF EB. We just met recently and I’ll try to see if I can help,” Diaz-Naranjo told the Inquirer.

Diaz-Naranjo, who also won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, will work for weightlifters from around the world in her new title, alongside athletes Forrester Osei of Ghana and Luisa Peters, a retired weightlifter from the Cook Islands.

Osei took a leadership role of the IWF Athletes’ Committee in last month’s election while Diaz-Naranjo was vice-chairman of the 10-member committee.

“I can see that the EB officials are really into weightlifting. We will find a way to solve the problems for the betterment of our sport,” said Diaz-Naranjo, whose 270,000 followers on the social media giant can help get the league’s message across. Weightlifting everywhere.

historical moment

IWF President Mohamed Jalood hailed the move to appoint three athletes’ committee representatives to the EB as a historic moment for the sport, and pointed out that the IWF became the first international federation to achieve it. such level of athlete representation.

It is a step in the right direction as weightlifting enters a pivotal period in history when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) initially dropped the sport from the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics program due to several athletes. IWF advocates are constantly concerned about doping.

Sadly, the proposal to eliminate weightlifting in Los Angeles comes at a time when Filipino weightlifting is thriving internationally.

Hoping to follow in Hidilyn’s footsteps towards greatness are Asian champion Vanessa Sarno, Tokyo Olympic athlete Elreen Ando, ​​Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Kristel Macrohon and young gold athlete world Rosegie Ramos, among others.

corruption

The IOC, which hosts the Olympics every four years, has decided to temporarily remove weightlifting from its LA program along with boxing and modern pentathlon.

International weightlifting officials have been accused of corruption in an investigative report in June 2021, alleging a cover-up of doping cases against Olympic medal-winning weightlifters and world champions. .

Former IWF officials have been charged under the World Anti-Doping Code with complicity and forgery.

The IOC will reevaluate its position on weightlifting this year as the IWF moves to appeal the inclusion of weightlifting in LA and dismisses the bleak prospect that Paris 2024 could be the organization’s last Olympics. this position.

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