KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Though he did not make it to the podium in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, Nestor Colonia should still be lauded for his willingness to represent the country despite being hobbled by an injury.
This, according to Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who supported Colonia at Hall 3 in MiTEC on Monday morning here.
Colonia, still recovering from an injury in his right knee, managed a combined lift of 253kg from the snatch and the clean-and-jerk, a far cry from his personal best.
“Hindi ko nabuhat ‘yung 100% ko. Kung nabuhat ko ‘yung 100%, easy lang ang gold,” Colonia said after the event, which was won by Vietnam’s Thach Kim Tuan with a combined lift of 269kg.
Diaz, who made history for the Philippines in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, later told reporters that she remains proud of her teammate for his brave effort.
“Masaya ako sa ginawa niya, kasi may injury siya eh,” said Diaz, referring to Colonia’s balky knee that needed to be drained of uric acid just a month before the SEA Games.
“Hindi siya nag-give up,” she pointed out. “Masaya ako na ni-represent niya ang Pilipinas, kahit may injury siya.”
Diaz revealed that a night before Colonia competed, they consulted with the Philippine delegation’s sports psychologist, Dr. Rey Canlas, in an effort to set the lifter’s mind at peace and set attainable goals for him.
“Nagawa naman niya,” said Diaz, who listened in to his Colonia’s session. “Na-conquer niya lahat ng worries niya.”
Still, Diaz acknowledged that it was quite disappointing to see Colonia fall short in Kuala Lumpur, especially as both weightlifters know that the Zamboanga City native was capable of bringing home the gold medal – if only he had been at peak form.
“Pero ‘di ba, sabi nga natin, nasa huli ang pag-sisisi,” said Diaz.
Diaz believes that Colonia will need some time to recover fully from his injury and address the issues that led to his performance on Monday morning.
“Go back to his passion, to his dream, kung ano ba talaga ang gusto niya sa buhay,” she said.
And then, it is time for Colonia to turn his attention to the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, where Diaz is hoping that they can win gold on home soil.
“Hindi pa naman huli para sa 2019,” she said of Colonia. “He has two years para hindi manghinayang, ‘di ba?”
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