Hidilyn Diaz just won the first ever gold medal for the Philippines at an Olympic Games. The new Olympic weightlifting champion clinched the top spot in the women’s 55kg category. Diaz has just gained a whole host of new fans after she pushed through to claim this historic win for her country. However, many want to know about her coach/boyfriend Julius Naranjo. We take a look at their relationship.
Weightlifter wins Philippines’ first ever gold medal
The Philippines had been waiting for 97 years to win an Olympic gold medal. Their saviour would come in the form of a 30-year-old weightlifter from Zamboanga, Hidilyn Diaz.
Diaz had narrowly missed out on the gold medal in Rio, just falling short to claim the silver in the 53kg class.
However, in Tokyo she beat Liao Qiuyun from China by achieving her new personal best with her final lift. She needed a massive 127kg to claim the gold medal, which was a whole 5kg heavier than Diaz had lifted in a competition. However, she pushed through to claim the top prize.
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Diaz currently serves in the Philippine Air Force, and previously studied computer science at the Universidad de Zamboanga.
She was stuck in Malaisya during the pandemic, and even had to use water bottles as training weights.
She said after her historic win:
“I’m looking forward to enjoying life because I have been in Malaysia for, I don’t know, almost two years, so I’m really thankful I can go home now and celebrate with my family and the people who support me.”
Meet Hidilyn Diaz’s boyfriend
Hidilyn Diaz’s boyfriend is Julian Naranjo, who also works as her strength and conditioning mentor.
He was previously a weightlifter who had competed for Guam, as well as competing in CrossFit competitions within his country. However, he is thought to be from Filipino and Japanese heritage.
Naranjo attended Mt. San Antonio College studying business and photography, and then gained his bachelors degree in health sciences, exercise science and health promotion at the University of Guam.
The former weightlifter previously worked as a freelance videographer and photographer, before moving onto coaching for Custom Fitness in Anigua, Guam.
He started coaching with TeamHD and Hidilyn Diaz in 2018, as well as founding Collective Culture, his own filmmaking enterprise.
The pair first met during a competition in Turkmenistan in 2017 and began dating shortly after.
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What is Hidilyn Diaz’s height?
Hidilyn Diaz’s height is 1.58m or 5ft 2. When she competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics she was one of the lightest competitors in the 53kg class.
However, she won her gold at Tokyo in the 55kg class.
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Congratulations to Hidilyn Diaz and to the Philippines!