By Jon Vicente
This is after Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won in the 55-kilogram Group A weightlifting finals at the Tokyo International Forum venue in Japan.
Diaz also set a new Olympic record of lifting 127 kilograms in the Clean & Jerk. Diaz is the first Filipino to win an Olympic gold medal.
Diaz, who hails from Zamboanga City, ended the country’s yearning for an Olympic gold medal by topping the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women’s weightlifting in the 55-kilogram category.
The four-time Olympian got the gold with her 224-kilogram total, or 97 kilogram in the Snatch and Olympic record 127 kilogram in the Clean & Jerk. She bested China’s Qiuyun Liao who settled for silver with 223 kilograms total lift.
As a backgrounder, the 30-year-old Diaz was a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, making her a shoo-in for the Olympic medal.
She successfully cleared her first and second attempts at Snatch with 94 and 97 kilograms, respectively, before getting a no-lift decision on her third try at 99 kilograms.
In her Tokyo Olympic performance, Diaz successfully lifted 119 kilograms in her first attempt in the Clean & Jerk, while also lifting 124 kilograms in the second attempt to momentarily take the lead from Liao at 221-220.
Liao retook the lead at 223-221 in her third and final Clean & Jerk lift after carrying 126 kilograms, but Diaz went for the gold and Olympic glory in her third lift with 127 kilograms.
She later shouted “Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!” as tears rolled down her face knowing that she bagged the gold for the glory of the country.
“Sana maalala nila na may isang Hidilyn Diaz na lumalabas, isang Filipina galing sa Zamboanga City na napatunayan niya na kahit galing ka sa hirap, kaya mong manalo sa Olympics.”
Diaz is also expected to rake in millions of pesos as reward from the government and private sectors supporting the sports.
Initially, Diaz was promised to get around P30 million, and this will increase as others would try to donate.
The breakdown would be P10 million from the national government, P10 million from Smart’s Manuel Pangilinan and P10 million from San Miguel Corp.’s Ramon Ang.
Diaz said she is still contemplating whether to compete anew in the 2024 Olympics as her goal is only set for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games.
“Sa akin, alam kong kaya ko pa. Pero ngayon target ko hanggang Asian Games. Then after that, tingnan ko ulit. Reflect. Kung kaya, tuloy-tuloy. Kung hindi, then baka ‘yun na. Ang haba-haba na ng serbisyo ko sa weightlifting, baka time na,” she added.
With her historic win, Malacañang sent its congratulatory message to the Filipina athlete.
“The Palace congratulates Hidilyn Diaz for bringing pride and glory to the Philippines for winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement sent to news organizations. “The entire Filipino nation is proud of you. Laban, Pilipinas!”
Aside from Diaz, another Filipina is also making waves in the Olympics’ skateboarding competition but ended her stint in seventh place.
Skateboarder Margielyn Didal bagged the seventh place finish in the women’s skateboarding, women’s street event finals.
Didal, who hails from Cebu, went for smooth and clean passes on the Runs section as she had 2.33 points in her first attempt and 2.22 points in the second try to place at seventh.
In the Tricks round, Didal missed on her first trick for 0.00 points before having a solid execution of a 50-50 on her second attempt to accumulate 2.97 points.
The Cebuana later on struggled on her third trick attempt, fumbled and tweaked her ankle in the fourth try and once again falling on her fifth and final try to settle for a 7.52 points total.
The 25-year-old Didal, a gold medal winner in the Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games, reached the finals round after placing seventh during the preliminary round on Monday morning.