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Diaz Breaks Olympic Record, Wins Philippines’ first-ever Olympic Gold

Updated: Aug 14, 2021

Tokyo, Japan --- The weight of the country’s hopes and dreams have finally been lifted as Hidilyn Diaz bags home Olympic glory on Monday night.

Diaz delivered gold in her 4th consecutive appearance in the most prestigious quadrennial meet in the world, as she tops the table of the women’s 55-kg weightlifting competition.

Nasorpresa ako na nagawa ko iyon,” said Diaz as she made history by sealing the win after almost a century of wait.

The 30-year-old Zamboanga City native set a new Olympic record at 127 kg in the clean and jerk, while also registering a 97 kg in snatch to set her golden lift at another Olympic record of 224 kg.

People's Republic of China’s bet, Liao, finished just a point behind Diaz with a total lift of 223 kg to bring home silver and Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan completed the podium with 213 kg.

Coming into the event, the Chinese delegation had dominated all three previous events and was hoping to complete a sweep of 8 gold medals as Liao came into the competition with the world record of 227 kg.

Diaz also shared the podium with Chinshanlo who previously won the 2012 London Games but was eventually stripped of the title after she tested positive for using banned-steroids.

I thought it would be like going down (her performance)” said Diaz in a post-event interview, “I am 30 years old but I was shocked I was able to do it,” she added.

Chinshanlo almost set the Olympic record of 123 kg lift in the clean and jerk, until the judges decided to reverse the decision.

It was then Liao who was able to set the record by lifting 126-kg, but the sweetness suddenly turned bitter as Diaz broke the record soon after.

Due to CoViD-19 restrictions, Hidilyn had to spend the last year and a half training in Malaysia and built her own gym equipment by using water bottles for her training.

Diaz was only the 2nd Filipino athlete to have won multiple medals in the Olympics after she won silver and the country’s lone medal ending a 20-year drought in 2016.

She joined Teofilo Yldefonzo who won bronze in the men’s 200m breaststroke in 1928 and 1932.

As it stands, Diaz is set to be the lone receiver of the 33 Million pesos pot that is expected to reach 50 Million according to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), coming from both the government and the private sector for this historic feat.

Tearfully saluting as she stood on the top of the podium while singing the national anthem, Diaz now sets her sights on a possible repeat at Paris in 3 years' time.

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