Hidilyn Diaz is not taking her opponents lightly despite being groomed to retain the gold in the women’s 55kg weightlifting category of the 31st Southeast Asian Games.

Diaz refused to express full confidence ahead of the weightlifting event in Hanoi, saying that rivals are capable of pulling off a stunning upset.

“Everyone of us can win a gold medal and I can’t cite names because all of us are doing our best to perform at the highest level,” said Diaz, who arrived in Ho Chi Minh City for final preparations to the biennial meet.

“I can’t make any prediction since all the athletes are capable of winning a gold medal,” she added.

The Tokyo Olympics gold medalist will spend a week in Vietnam’s largest city before heading to Hanoi for her event set for May 20.

She arrived Tuesday along with members of Team HD composed of head trainer Julius Naranjo, nutritionist Jeaneth Aro and sports psychologist Karen Trinidad.

Diaz handily won back in 2019 with a total lift of 211 kgs, with Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Thuy finishing second (197 kgs) and Indonesia’s Juliana Klarisa placing third (175 kgs).

Meanwhile, the rest of the women’s team is set to arrive in the Vietnam capital on May 16 with Asian champion Vanessa Sarno, Tokyo Olympian Erleen Ando and 2019 SEA Games gold medal winner Kristel Macrohon leading the group.

Sarno will compete in the -71kg category, Ando in the 64kg division and Macrohon in the +71kg event.

Also joining are Margaret Colonia, Mary Flor Diaz and Rosegie Ramos while the men’s team has Nestor Colonia (67kg), Fernando Agad (55kg), John Dexter Tabique (-89kg), Rowel Garcia (61kg), John Kevin Padullo (+89kg), and Lemon Tarro (73kg).

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/05/12/olympic-champ-hidilyn-diaz-remains-wary-of-seag-challenge/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=olympic-champ-hidilyn-diaz-remains-wary-of-seag-challenge)