Before campaigning in the World Championships in Colombia where she completed a gold medal collection not many elite athletes can even talk about having, Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo was already charting a master plan for what could be her swan song—the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Philippines’ only Olympics gold medal winner got a bonus there when she saw her potential Paris competition up close and personal.
“I watched them at the world championships. I saw how they played, their techniques and how they prepared themselves. We already know,’’ Diaz-Naranjo told the Inquirer.
“Saw” meant that Hidilyn was watching an entirely different field playing, a field she will know she gets to join in Paris as she climbs up to the 59-kilogram class where Luo Xiaomin of China and Yenny Alvarez of Colombia will be waiting to snuff her dreams of winning a second straight Games gold.
“I need to be more focused while training to meet 59 kg. Rest is likewise crucial to prevent injuries. I will also work on my diet. I see muscle-building as an advantage with more protein intake compared to dropping my weight,’’ said Diaz-Naranjo.