HISTORY IS MADE.
Weightlifting champion Hidilyn Diaz has finally clinched the once-elusive gold medal for the Philippines during the women’s 55-kg Group A division during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics today, July 26, at the Tokyo International Forum.
She effortlessly executed the 94-kg snatch for her first attempt, 97-kg for her second, and fell short for the 99-kg attempt against the record held by Uzbekistan's Muattar Nabieva. She then achieved the 119-kg clean and jerk 123-kg, then 127-kg.
This is the Philippines' first-ever Olympic gold medal in history.
This serves as the 30-year-old's fourth Olympic run following her silver win during the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 2016 win also ended the Philippine Olympics 20-year medal drought.
Hidilyn attempted the 55-kg weights against fellow weightlifters from Korea, Mexico, Kazakhstan, China, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Turmekistan, and Tunisia.
“You can expect Hidilyn to lift weights that you’ve never seen before. She’s on track. She’s going to put on a show,” shared Diaz's coach Julius Naranjo on her performance in the days leading up to the event.
Diaz also shared in an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe regarding the pressure to grab the gold - a herculean task that she had to train outside the country for due to our lack of equipment.
“Ang challenge is in proving na kaya ko pa rin, hindi pa ako laos. Kaya ko maging malakas at manalo sa Olympics with my team behind me. Kasi, this will be my fourth Olympics already," she said.
“Of course it’s hard to make people understand na ‘di madaling manalo sa Olympics, kailangan mo ng preparasyon, kailangan mo ibigay yung lahat ng sakripisyo. Mahirap. Mahirap siya.”
True enough, the preparation and sacrifices proved to be fruitful for the athlete.
Meanwhile, social media also immediately erupted with support and hype for the Philippines' history-making win.
Hidilyn Diaz?? has won #gold in #Weightlifting - Women's 55kg— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) July 26, 2021
She becomes the first #Olympics gold medal winner to represent the Philippines and now owns two Olympic Records!#UnitedByEmotion | #StrongerTogether
Iconic. Goosebumps all over. Honored to have lived in the Hidilyn Diaz era. ?? pic.twitter.com/00yK1wItHv— Dino Maragay (@dino_mars) July 26, 2021
On the day of his last SONA, a woman unfairly included in the drug matrix wins the first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines. Coincidence or a foretelling? The last man standing is a woman.— Gideon V. Peña (@attygideon) July 26, 2021
Thank you Hidilyn Diaz for giving us a reason to be proud to be Filipinos today. ??
Weightlifter and Cebuano Elreen Ann Ando is also set to represent the Philippines in the women's weightlifting 64kg Group B event this July 27.
Banner photo by Chris Graythen/Pool/AFP