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Chicken pox dashes medal hopes of Diaz (PHI)

After Olympian weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz was barred from joining the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Laos this week due to a bout with chicken pox, she has also been barred from competing in the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships in Dubai to be held right after the SEA Games.

Diaz, the 18-year-old weightlifter who brought pride to the country by being the first woman representative and youngest weightlifting bet to the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a wild card entry, was diagnosed with chicken pox last Friday and was barred from joining the SEA Games team. She was advised by RP team doctors to rest for two weeks.

The weightlifting team is all set to fly to Dubai right after the SEA Games to compete in the Asian event, where Diaz brought home two gold medals and a silver medal last year.

The weightlifters set to compete in Dubai include world champion Patricia Llena, Nestor Colonia, and neophyte Jeffrey Garcia.

Llena, 15, reaped three gold medals in the 2009 Sub Junior Powerlifting Championship last September in Sao Paolo, Brazil, while Colonia won two silver medals and a bronze in last year’s Asian Youth meet. Garcia is a new recruit from Zamboanga City.

(By Trina Ibarle-Orquiza)