VIDEO: Pinay weightlifter bags PH’s first Olympic medal since 1996

MANILA, Philippines- Hidilyn Diaz has become the first Filipino Olympian to win a medal in a span of 20 years after placing second in the women’s 53-kg division of weightlifting in the Rio Olympics in Brazil on Monday, August 8.

Hidilyn Diaz bags silver Rio 2016
Hidilyn Diaz bags silver in #Rio2016, brings pride to the Philippines. PHOTO CREDIT: Interaksyon
Diaz, 25, has broken the two decade-medal drought of the Philippines in the Olympics. Mansueto “Onyok" Velasco was the last athlete to bring home medal to the country during the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.

She is also the first Filipino to earn a medal in Olympic weightlifting, the first Pinay to receive an Olympic medal as well as the first non-boxer to get a medal for the Philippines since 1936.

Finishing with a score of 200kg, the three-time Olympian lifted 88kg in her snatch attempt and 112 kg in the clean and jerk. Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Shu-Ching snatched the gold medal with a score of 212, while South Korea’s Yoon Jin Hee bagged the bronze medal with a score of 199.

The country’s flag bearer in the 2012 London Games, Diaz has a career best of 224 kgs and qualified for the Rio Olympics following her bronze win in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championship in Houston, Texas. She previously competed in the 58-kg category in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.

A native of Zamboanga City, Diaz had to battle a rough year of dealing with losing her trusted coach in 2014. It was also at that time that Diaz lost her boyfriend and had a series of subpar performances.

In 2015, Diaz decided to bounce back and have proper diet, strength and conditioning trainings. She also lost body weight the proper way. Before heading to Brazil, Diaz was in a 58-day training camp in China.

Prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics, Diaz said she planed to leave the Air Force and get a scholarship at Lindenwood University in Missouri, USA.

Watch the video.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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