by Villamor Visaya Jr./Balitang Hilaga News Team
Woman weighlifter Hidilyn Diaz bagged the first-ever gold for the Philippines, ending the country’s longtime quest in the Olympics.
The 30-year-old Zamboanga Air Force airwoman and weightlifter, competing in her fourth straight Olympics, delivered the Philippines’ breakthrough gold medal after conquering the women’s 55 kilograms weightlifting competition.
She registered 97kg in snatch and 127 kg in the clean & jerk to gain a 224-total score, a point higher than China’s world recordholder Liao Qiuyun.
She won the silver medal in 2016 Rio Olympics, ending then the country’s 20-year medal drought.
For her gold medal haul, she is set to receive P33-million for her feat–P10 million from the government, P10 million from Ramon Ang, P10 million from Manny Pangilinan and P3 million from Mikee Romero. She was also assured of a house of lot.
“First time natin ito, akala natin imposible, akala ko rin imposible, nasa pandemic tayo imposible ang Olympics, pero nandito tayo ngayon. So kaya natin, ‘wag kayong sumuko, kahit anong challenges and trials ‘yan manalangin tayo kay God, mag-ga-guide siya sa atin. Proud to be Pinoy!” Diaz said in an interview of reporters in Tokyo, Japan.
Diaz had competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, then the youngest competitor in the women’s 58-kg category.
A bronze medalist in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand, Diaz was 10th at the 2006 Asian Games in the 53-kilogram class.
In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Diaz won the silver medal in the women’s 53-kg weight division, ending the Philippines’ 20-year Olympic medal drought. She is also the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal of any color.#
Photo courtesy of Hidilyn Diaz FB/Tokyo Olympics