Home Sports Hidilyn gears up for bigger challenge of being a mom

Hidilyn gears up for bigger challenge of being a mom

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Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo (left) and husband Julius unwind in a resort in Thailand.

Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo (left) and husband Julius unwind in a resort in Thailand. —PHOTO FROM HIDILYN DIAZ/FACEBOOK

Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo will be out of the Olympics for the first time in its last five cycles, and she has announced that her time will now be dedicated towards the biggest challenge any woman can have: Motherhood.

After failing to make the Paris Summer Games by finishing out of the Top 10 in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup in Thailand, the legendary Filipino weightlifting ace has announced through social media the start of a countdown for a baby with husband and coach, Julius Naranjo.

“Now for the much needed family time. Du’n tayo sa forever. God and Family are forever,” wrote Diaz on her Facebook and Instagram posts while in a tourist spot in Kathu, Thailand. She even shouted out to their wedding godfather and her manager, Noel Ferrer, to start the countdown for an “apo” (grandchild).

Two Olympic medals

Hidilyn and Julius married two years ago, but with the Philippine heroine chasing what would have been a fifth straight participation in the Games, having a little one come into this world at that time obviously wasn’t in their plans.

Diaz-Naranjo competed in the Olympics starting in the 2008 edition, going medal-less like in 2012. She pocketed a silver medal in the Rio de Janeiro Games before having the Philippine islands, then in strict health measures because of COVID-19, celebrate a first Olympics gold in close to 100 years of participation.

That took place in Tokyo in 2021, and Diaz-Naranjo had made it clear that she was willing to put in all the work just to get to Paris for her Olympics swan song.

She returned to the brutal routine that got her the Tokyo title, but because of her old 54-kilogram division being scrapped for the Paris edition, Diaz-Naranjo had to move up to the 59-kg class where everyone in the field was naturally bigger and stronger.

Team Philippines will be represented by Elreen Ann Ando in Paris, with Hidilyn and Julius sure to cheer from wherever.

And by that time, who knows, Hidilyn might have someone in her belly cheering on Ando, too.



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