Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz wins the Philippines' first-ever Olympic gold medal

Friday, July 30, 2021

Diaz in 2016
Image: Presidential Communications Operations Office.

On Monday, Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in women's weightlifting in the 55 kg category during her fourth Olympic games. She lifted a combined weight 224 kg (494 lb), tying the previous new Olympic record. In the snatch she lifted 97 kg (214 lb) and in the clean and jerk 127 kg (280 lb), totaling the 224 kg.

After the match, she said in an interview, "I am 30 years old and I thought it would be like going down, my performance, but I was shocked I was able to do it". A statement from the Philippines' presidential spokesman Harry Roque celebrated Diaz's win, saying, "Congratulations, Hidilyn. The entire Filipino nation is proud of you".

The previous record-setter Liao Qiuyun of China took the silver medal with a total weight of 223 kg (492 lb), and Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan took the bronze with 213 kg (470 lb).

Diaz won the silver medal during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she competed in the 53 kg category. She won a gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz trained in Malaysia, where she was stuck due to COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed by the Philippines. While there, she trained in a self-built gym, using water bottles.