LOOK: An electronic billboard honoring weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz illuminates EDSA in Mandaluyong City on Wednesday, July 28. Diaz made history as the first Filipino athlete to win gold at the Olympics. | 📸: Grig C. Montegrande / Inquirer READ:
Hidilyn Diaz delivered the Philippines’ breakthrough gold medal after conquering the women’s 55 kilograms weightlifting at Tokyo Olympics.
MANILA, Philippines — Carrying the weight of a country long seeking for Olympic glory, Hidilyn Diaz finally ended the seemingly interminable quest Monday night.Diaz, in her fourth straight Olympics, delivered the Philippines’ breakthrough gold medal after conquering the women’s 55 kilograms weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 30-year-old pride of Zamboanga City tallied 97kg in snatch but it was her Olympic record lift of 127kg in the clean & jerk that propelled her at the helm.Her total lift of 224kg also set an Olympic record, beating a formidable field that included China’s world record holder Liao Quiyun.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s a dream, come true,” Diaz told AFP moments after the Philippines Air Force woman shed more tears on the podium as she saluted her flag and sung the national anthem.“I want to say to the young generation in the Philippines, ‘You can have this dream of gold too.’ headtopics.com
“This is how I started and finally I was able to do it.”ADVERTISEMENTLiao finished with the silver medal at 223kg. Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan claimed the bronze with 213kg.Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz reacts after placing first in the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)
“I really respect Diaz as an opponent because she did the best she could, in fact better than that and that is the ultimate,” Liao said. “She did a better job and it is nice for all the people that were supporting her.”In Rio 2016, Diaz won the silver medal that ended the Philippines’ 20-year drought.
She spent the last year and half training in exile in Malaysia because of COVID-19 restrictions, so dedicated was she to claim an unprecedented gold in her fourth and probably final Games.Hidilyn’s medal was just the 11th by the Philippines since the country first took part in the Olympics in 1924, and now the only gold.
She became just the second athlete from her country to win multiple Olympics medals, joining swimmer Teofilo Yldefonzo who won bronze in the men’s 200m breaststroke in 1928 and 1932. Read more: Inquirer »
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