Hidilyn Diaz (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Aug 17 (Mabuhay) –Employing a foreign coach proved to be effective when Hidilyn Diaz and the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) tapped Chinese mentor Gao Kaiwen to be at the helm.

Gao began in 2018 and steered Diaz to a couple of podium finishes including gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games, 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and, just recently, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Aside from that, the 30-year-old Diaz was also able to win a silver in the 2019 Asian Championship and another gold at the Roma 2020 World Cup—all under the tutelage of Gao.

And the SWP looks to follow this blueprint as they plot their next moves, including their bid to groom Diaz’ successors on international stages, as Gao has been elevated to team consultant.

“We will ask for another Chinese coach. I will be requesting another Chinese coach, however, I don’t know how the Chinese government will react because they lost a medal to us,” Puentevella said on Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.

“But if they will not allow their coaches to help us, I’m still confident that we will be getting a coach from somewhere else. Actually, there are a lot [of foreign coaches] sending their applications to us.”

Puentevella said he’s confident about the capabilities of local coaches but bared that their foreign counterparts can offer other things as they have been more exposed to international games.

“I’m happy with our Filipino coaches but if we can get a Chinese coach, that’s better,” added Puentevella.

“But I’m confident because our local coaches now have what it takes. They have learned so many lessons.”

The hiring of another foreign coach, according to Puentevella, will be mainly in preparing the country’s future weightlifters in Vanessa Sarno, Kristel Macrohon, and Elreen Ando, who already competed in the Tokyo Games.

“I’m confident with our new girls and I’m confident that they have a fight for the Paris Games.” (MNS)

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