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Hidilyn Diaz after Olympic golden feat: 'Thank you so much for believing in me'

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Hidilyn Diaz after Olympic golden feat: 'Thank you so much for believing in me'
Philippines' Hidilyn Diaz reacts after placing first in the women's 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021.
VINCENZO PINTO / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – When Hidilyn Diaz lifted her last 127kg clean and jerk attempt during the Women's 55kg event in the Tokyo Olympics, the hope of a whole nation was on her shoulders.

It was only natural that when Diaz was able to successfully lift the Olympic record weight and clinch the country's first ever Olympic gold medal, every corner in the Philippines celebrated with exuberant joy.

TRACKER: Team Philippines at the Tokyo Olympics

Though a thousand miles away from the country, Diaz could feel the support radiating from the nation that put so much trust in her.

"Di ako makapaniwala... Nasurpresa ako na nagawa ko yun. Kakaiba si God at lahat ng prayer warriors ko diyan sa Pilipinas, thank you so much," Diaz told One Sports' Gretchen Ho after her win.

"Sa Team HD, at sa lahat ng sumoporta sa akin, thank you so much for believing in me,"

Diaz was nothing but exemplary in what could possibly be her Olympic swan song, as she took two Olympic records in Clean and Jerk, and with her total of 224kg.

Not only that, Diaz became the first Filipino to win multiple medals at the Games since Teofilo Yldefonso bagged two bronzes in the Men's 200m breastroke event at the 1928 and 1932 Olympics.

She won silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics where she competed in the now-defunct 53kg division of Olympic weightlifting.

Diaz deflected some of the credit, though, to what she achieved to those who believed in her all this time.

"When the times na hindi ko na alam, gusto ko na sumuko dahil sa dami ng pagsubok na pinagdaanan, nakaya natin. Kaya nating mga Pilipino," she said.

World Champion Quiyun Liao of China came second to Diaz with 223kg, while Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo took bronze with 213kg.

2021 TOKYO OLYMPICS HIDILYN DIAZ WEIGHTLIFTING
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