How Malaysia Helped Hidilyn Diaz Secure the Gold Medal

Hidilyn got stranded in Malaysia for over a year.

A Malaysian weightlifting official witnessed Hidilyn Diaz's training, and it revealed the secret to the 30 -year-old weightlifter's success.

Hidilyn made history as the first Filipino to win a gold medal at the Olympics.

On July 26, 2021, the entire Philippines celebrated when she defeated China's representative Liao Qiuyun in the women's 55kgs weightlifting division of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

But did you know that Malaysia played a role in Hidilyn’s victory?

Before the athlete flew to Tokyo, she first trained in Malaysia for more than a year.

Hidilyn, along with her two other trainers from the Philippines, settled in Kampung Kesang Tua, a place in the city of Melaka (formerly Malacca).

According to the Malay Mail, they were adopted by Ahmad Janius Abdullah, 50, the deputy president of the Malaysian Weightlifting Federation.

As Ahmad Janius shared, he witnessed Hidilyn's intense determination and focus to take home the gold medal.

Janius built a makeshift gym in his house just for Hidilyn.

Photo by Hidilyn Diaz | Facebook.

(Top: Hidilyn regularly gave glimpses of her training through videos on Instagram Bottom: Ahmad Janius Abdullah showing the part of his house where Hidilyn trained for several months)

Hidilyn as an Athlete

Ahmad Janius was among those who delivered Hidilyn when his group sailed to Tokyo on July 18.

According to the Malaysian trainer, Hidilyn is very polished in detail every time she practices.

Aniya, "Hidi is very fastidious and will ensure that every training equipment and the facility is in proper condition and arranged accordingly, including the smallest details."

She also misses nothing in his daily training: from 10:00 a.m, to 1:00 p.m. at 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

When Ahmad Janius was interviewed Malaysian local reporters, he described Hidilyn as a "highly disciplined athlete," and even on diet, he said she carefully measures every portion of her food.

During Hidilyn's stay in Melaka, Ahmad Janius allegedly considered Hidilyn as his own daughter.

“My relationship with Hidi is like that of a father and daughter. Although she calls me ‘sir,’ I always ensure that all her needs in the house are sufficient. ”

Snatch for the Win

While training, the Malaysian trainer often noticed Hidilyn's "snatch" because this is the weakness of the Filipino weightlifter.

“Snatch” is the full-body movement that refers to the rapid lifting of a heavy object.

"I'm glad she took it seriously and performed excellently to bag the gold."

Ahmad Janius also mentioned that Hidilyn has not forgotten them because she called to thank them after winning the gold medal in the Olympics.

Recommended Videos

Hidilyn also plans to visit Melaka.

Sharing further with the Malaysian national, Hidilyn’s favorite is the Malaysian dish Asam Pedas Melaka, a spicy fish dish topped with sampaloc soup.

Hidilyn also seems to like durian.

Hidilyn During the Pandemic in Malaysa

Meanwhile, according to a report by the Manila Bulletin, Hidilyn's group has made Kuala Lumpur a training base since February 2020.

But a pandemic caught up with them and finding a gym became a challenge.

In the place where they stayed, he had to be careful in rehearsing so as not to break the tile floors.

In August 2020, business tycoon Manny Pangilinan sent him P1.5 million as "SOS" money.

By October 2020, Hidilyn moved to the residence of Ahmad Janius' family, which is more than two hours away from Kuala Lumpur by land.

Initially, Hidilyn practiced at a gym near the lodge.

But when the quarantine tightened in Melaka, the garage of Ahmad Janius' house became the training area of ??the Filipino champion.

This story originally appeared on Pep.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.

Discover the best of culture, business, and style from Esquire Philippines. Visit Quento for more stories and subscribe to our YouTube channel for new videos. 

View More Articles About:
More Videos You Can Watch
About The Author
Bernie V. Franco for
View Other Articles From Bernie V. Franco for
Latest Feed
Load More Articles
Connect With Us