Hidilyn Diaz hands first ever Olympic gold to the Philippines
MANILA – Philippine Air Force Sgt. Hidilyn Diaz’s hard work paid off when she secured the country’s first ever gold medal in almost a century. She “snatched” the gold in the women’s 55-kilogram category in the delayed 32nd Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Diaz, expected to get another medal for the Philippines, surpassed the performance of eight other weightlifters, including the world record holder Liao Quiyun of China. Hidilyn lifted an Olympic record of 224 kilograms a couple of hours ago.
Liao settled for silver with 223 kilograms but fought tooth and nail with Diaz in the clean and jerk round.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanto took the bronze after garnering 213 kilograms.
Diaz lifted 94kg and 97 kg during her first two attempts in snatch. She nearly got the chance to take the lead after attempting to lift 99 kilograms but failed.
In 2016, she “snatched” a silver medal for the Philippines in Rio de Janeiro. In 2018, she became the first weightlifter to win a Gold medal during the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
She stands to receive P30 million, P10 each from the Philippine Sports Commission, MVP Group of Companies and San Miguel Corporation. It was reported President Rodrigo Duterte may provide additional incentives to Filipino Olympians who will reap medals in the world’s largest sporting event. (Melo M. Acuña)
Hidilyn Diaz, First Filipino Gold medalist in nearly a hundred years of modern-day Olympics. (Screen Grab from YouTube)