History has been made! Nearly a century after the Philippines has started participating in the Olympics, the country has FINALLY won a gold medal.
4-time Olympian Hidilyn Diaz cemented her place in Philippine sports history as the first-ever Olympic gold medalist in the 55kg weightlifting competition of the Olympics, as per Rappler.com.
Emotions ran high at the Tokyo International Forum where Diaz displayed a dominant performance, besting the best weightlifting women in the world. From the start, Diaz was poised to win, lifting 94kg and 97kg as her first two attempts in snatch. In the clean and jerk portion, her forte, Diaz won the top prize when she lifted 127kg.
This is the 30-year old’s second Olympic medal. She won silver during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Her silver finish in Rio was monumental as well as it was the first medal the Philippines won since Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won silver in the men’s light flyweight boxing event.
In 2018, Diaz made history as the first Filipino weightlifter to win gold in the Asian Games. She also won the top prize in the 2019 Southeast Asian games. With her historic gold medal win in the Tokyo Olympics, Diaz became the second Filipino to bag multiple medals in the biggest stage of them all.
Needless to say, the country is brimming with pride, and social media exploded with congratulatory messages for Diaz. With this win, Diaz just earned herself P10 million in cash prize from the government. Other huge sports backers such as Manny V. Pangilinan have pledged to award a gold medalist the same amount.
It’s expected that more support will keep pouring in as Diaz has finally quenched the country’s drought for Olympic glory. Not only has she won gold in the Olympics, but she also won hearts across the country, giving everyone hope amid everything going on.