Hidilyn Diaz made history by winning the first ever Olympics gold medal in Tokyo, Japan yesterday July 26, 2021. The Filipino athlete won the gold medal in weightlifting after 97 years since the country’s first appearance in the 1924 Olympics.
Olympics Gold for the Philippines
Hidilyn Francisco Diaz competed in the women’s Group B weightlifting event. She won the competition with her 55kg weightlift at the Tokyo International Forum. Diaz also recorded a 97kg in the snatch and an Olympic record 127kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 224kg, breaking the Olympic record!
The 30-year-old Filipina got off to a strong start clearing 94kg in her first snatch attempt, then proceeding to tie the previous Olympic record of 97kg in the second attempt. After Muattar Nabieva of Uzbekistan cleared 98kg to reset the Olympic record in snatch, Diaz looked to take the lead with 99 kg, but did not record a lift.
By her second attempt of lifting 124kg in the clean and jerk, Diaz went head-to-head with China’s Liao Qiuyun, the world record holder who took the lead with 126kg in her third attempt. But the Filipina took home the gold with the 127kg to close out the event. China’s athlete Liao Qiuyun, who failed to match her own world record, took silver with a combined weight of 223 kg. and Kazakhstan’s athlete Zulfiya Chinshanlo won bronze with 213 kg.
I am 30 years old and I thought it would be like going down, my performance, but I was shocked I was able to do it,” Diaz said in a post-match interview with Reuters.
Queen of Philippine Weightlifting – a true Olympian!
She is known by some as the queen of Philippine Weightlifting. Diaz has competed in the Olympics several times already. She also became the first Filipina athlete to win double Olympic medals after her 2016 Rio Olympic silver medal conquest. Aside from an Olympic weightlifter, Diaz is also an airwoman. She was recruited back in 2013. Her ranking was promoted from Airwoman to Airwoman Sergeant after her weightlifting success from 2014-2018. Her achievement in the Olympics and Asian Games through weightlifting helped her get promoted.