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2020 Tokyo Olympics

Hidilyn Diaz gives the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold


Fourth time’s a charm for Hidilyn Diaz.

Diaz, who won silver in the 2016 Rio Games, captured the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines. She took the win in the women’s -55 kg class of the 2020 Olympic Weightlifting tournament held at the Tokyo International Forum, Monday.

Needing to nail her final attempt at 127 kg, the Filipino sports icon powered through. She then successfully lifted the said weight, a new Olympic record in the clean and jerk.

The lift eventually gave her a total of a likewise recently-installed Games mark at 224 kg — a solitary kilogram ahead of silver medalist in China’s Liao Qiuyun.

The Chinese took the silver after a solid take at 126 kg to move into first. But Diaz took it up a notch and added one more kilogram to break the deadlock and decided the medals.

Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinsanlo bagged the bronze after a strong finish in the clean and jerk, ending with 213 kg.

The 2016 silver medalist jumped into the lead with a successful lift at 119 kg. She followed it up with a then short-lived Olympic record at 124 kg.

Diaz started strong with a lift of 94 kg, the same weight she lifted in her third and final attempt at the snatch just three months ago in the Asian Championships.

She then had to fight through the following lift minutes later at three kilograms heavier to put her in the provisional lead. The 30-year-old veteran could not, however, take on a possible Olympic record at 99 kg on her last attempt.

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Liao ended her snatch with the same weight at 97. Meanwhile, Uzbekistan’s Muattar Nabieva stole the lead after this portion of the competition with a new Games mark of 98 kg.

This is Diaz’s second straight medal in the quadrennial Games. She completed the golden treble in the Southeast Asian Games, the Asian Games, and the Olympics.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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