After a drought of two decades, the Philippines has eventually coveted another Olympic medal.
Mindanaon athlete, Hidilyn Diaz, had to compete with Olympics heavyweights from China, Chinese Taipei and South Korea. She managed to nab the silver after unfortunate lifts from China’s Li Yajun, who was supposed to be gunning for gold. Instead of bronze, Diaz was pushed to get the silver for a 200kg score for the Women’s 53kg weightlifting competition in Rio Olympics.
Nabbing a silver medal was no easy feat for a Filipina weightlifter, who had to struggle during the snatch event, where she managed to do 2 weightlifting tries out of 3. Her tally during that round was only at 88kg. for 6th place in a field proven to be tough to compete as it was led by China and Chinese Taipei.
Hidilyn Diaz managed to bring another attainment to the Philippines, halting the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought. Securing a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Games on Sunday, August 7 (Monday morning, August 8 in Manila) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is a dream come true for Diaz who once competed in World weightlifting championships and Asian Games.
A native of Zamboanga City, Diaz made history as the first female athlete to win an Olympic medal for the Philippines. Her victory also made her the first Filipina Olympic medalist. Her achievement in weightlifting made her the first Filipino to win an Olympic from a non-boxing event.
Looking very optimistic with her team and coach on the platform, made a recovery in the clean and jerk lift, successfully lifting 111 kg in the first attempt and then a 112 kg lift on the second. She failed to clear 117 kg on her third attempt, but she still managed to unsuccessfully lift her third try with a smile at the end.
Chinese-Taipei’s Hsu Shu-Ching won the gold with a total weight of 212 kg. Korea’s Yoon Jin Hee took the bronze medal with 199 kg score.
Her triumph after 3 tries in Olympic Summer Games is like Pia Wurtzbach’s. She first competed as a teenager in a wildcard entry at 2008 Beijing Olympics and then in 2012 London Olympics as a qualifier in the women’s weightlifting division.
At the recent Olympics, she managed to gun for the silver, which is not bad considering the number of Filipino athletes qualified to compete in Rio. That says something for a Filipina, coveting a medal from a badass sport such as weightlifting.
Images: Screengrabs obtained from Sports5 YouTube channel