Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz is PH’s first Olympic gold medallist
Weightlifter Hidilyn Francisco Diaz made history on Monday as the Philippines’ first athlete to win gold at the Olympics.
Diaz clinched the top spot in the women’s 55kg weightlifting category at the Tokyo 2020 games, besting world champion Liao Qiuyun from China and setting an Olympic record for hoisting 224kg.
In the final lift, Liao set a record with 126kg in the clean and jerk for a 223kg total. Diaz lifted one more than Liao after that, finishing with 126kg in the clean and jerk and a total of 224kg.
Meanwhile, Zulfiya Chinsanlo from Kazakshtan bagged bronze with 221kg.
Diaz, a 30-year-old southern Zamboanga native, burst into tears of joy after her feat.
Malacañang, through presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, congratulated the Olympian in a tweet for bringing pride and glory to the Philippines.
“Congratulations, Hidilyn. The entire Filipino nation is proud of you,” he added.
Before Diaz’s gold, the Philippines had only won 3 silvers and 7 bronzes in the past 97 years of competing at the Olympics.
The Olympian will receive a reward of PH₱10 million (~HK$1.545 million) from the Philippine government, while several business tycoons have pledged at least PH₱33 million (~HK$5.101 million) more after her historic win.