JASIN: Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz (pic), the first Olympics gold medallist from the Philippines, will return to continue her training in Kampung Kesang Tua, here, in preparation for the world meet in Uzbekistan in December.
Malaysian Weightlifting Federation (MWF) deputy president Ahmad Janius Abdullah said: “We will pick her up at the airport (today) and head straight to Jasin (as) Hidilyn has made an online application to the Ministry of Health (MOH) to be quarantined at home.”
“Hidilyn is very happy to return here. The peaceful aura and atmosphere of the village makes her feel very comfortable and she wants to continue training at the same location.”
Janius, who is also the lifter’s foster father, said the garage that was renovated and turned into her training ground had been upgraded slightly for her comfort and safety.
He said several parties had offered to move the training ground to a more comfortable place for Hidilyn but the 30-year-old lifter politely declined as she felt that the garage was more suitable for her.
“Actually, that’s her wish. She told me what’s the point of moving to another place because this is the place she had trained and won her gold medal. If she were to move, then she might as well go and train in the United States or Bukit Jalil... there are so many other places she can go to.
“Perhaps this village is more sentimental and closer to her heart after spending her time training here since last year,” he said.
Kampung Kesang Tua became the centre of global attention when Hidilyn won the gold medal in the women’s 55kg category at the Tokyo Olympics. Hidilyn, who came to Malaysia to train in January last year, found herself stranded here when the travel ban was imposed following the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama