FILE – Hidilyn Diaz from the Philippines. The four-time Olympic champion and the country's only gold medalist missed out on a ticket to the Paris Olympics scheduled for this year. –REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo is the country's unparalleled hero at the Olympics after taking home its first Summer Games gold medal.

So when Father Time caught up with her on Wednesday night, no tears were to be shed for the greatest Filipino weightlifter of all time.

Diaz-Naranjo will miss what could be her fifth and final consecutive trip to the Olympics after Cebuana Elreen Ando came in ahead of her in the final qualifying clash at the International Weightlifting Federation World Cup in Phuket, Thailand.

READ: Hidilyn Diaz reveals everything in the last stretch of preparation for the Paris Olympics

Ando, ​​25, virtually clinched the only available ticket in the women's under-59kg category for the 2024 Paris Olympics after placing seventh during the competition, edging out Diaz-Naranjo, who managed to finish 11th overall.

The top 10 lifters in each category will advance to the quadrennial Games, where only one representative from one country will be able to secure a spot.

Ando lifted a personal best of 228 kg in total after 100 in the snatch and 128 in the clean and jerk, giving her the advantage of reaching the qualifying standard in her weight class.

READ: Off the podium, Hidilyn Diaz gains insights for her candidacy for the Paris Olympics

Diaz-Naranjo, 33, the country's first Olympic gold medalist who also won silver at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, was one kilogram ahead of Ando after the snatch but failed to lift 127 in two attempts. in the clean and stupid.

Diaz-Naranjo had a lift total of 222 after 99 in the snatch and 123 in the clean and jerk.

Still, Diaz-Naranjo's legacy remains intact despite his non-appearance at the Paris meeting.

“We have to pay tribute to Hidi. She is our only Olympic gold medalist and has inspired many children to take up weightlifting,” said Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella.

With her achievements, Diaz-Naranjo has opened doors for hundreds of young lifters across the country, including Rosegie Ramos, Vanessa Sarno, and Ando, ​​to name a few.

Ando will be in Paris alongside first-place finishers EJ Obiena (pole vault), gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan, boxers Nesthy Petecio, Eumir Marcial and Aira Villegas and fellow weightlifters John Febuar Ceniza and Ramos.


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Sarno, 20, enters action in the women's 71kg category on Sunday and if the former Asian champion can maintain her fifth place overall, she could also join them in the French capital.



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