The Philippines 25-year-old Hidilyn Diaz is bringing home its first Olympic medal after 20 years of drought! This is the country’s first breakthrough after Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco got a silver medal in the light flyweight boxing competition during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. She is also the first female athlete to win an Olympic medal for our country.
Diaz, who is from Zamboanga City, got a silver after finishing with a score of 200kg at the women’s 53kg category in the weightlifting event on Monday morning, August 8, Manila time. This is her third Olympic competition.
The win came in as a surprise as it was initially a race to the silver between Chinese-Taipei’s Hsu Shu-Ching and Li Yajun of China after they scored 101kg and 100kg respectively.
However, Diaz on her first attempt was able to score 111kg. Yoon Jin Hee from Korea also cleared the same number on her next attempt. Luckily, Diaz was able to achieve a 112kg on her second attempt which gave her a fighting chance to score a bronze medal.
The pivotal moment of the competition was when Li attempted to lift 123kg but was unsuccessful due to hyper extension of her left elbow. This gave Diaz the chance to get the coveted silver medal while Yoon got the bronze.
Shu-Ching led the rest of the pack with a score of 112kg on her first lift and won the gold.
Among Diaz achievements are winning the bronze medal in the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships clearing a total weight of 200kg. At 17 years old, she was also the first Filipina weightlifter to represent the country in the Olympics in Beijing. She was the ocuntry’s flag bearer in the London Olympics.
Featured image via wikimedia