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Sports

Romero labels Diaz as ‘Superwoman’

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star
Romero labels Diaz as âSuperwomanâ
Hidilyn Diaz holds an autographed issue of The STAR proclaiming her as Olympic champion during yesterday’s affair.
Photo courtesy of Abac Cordero

MANILA, Philippines — Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz ended her mandatory one-week quarantine yesterday and left the hotel carrying a bouquet of flowers and a handsome check worth P3 million.

“Thank you, sir, thank you,” she said after receiving the check from Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero in a simple ceremony at the Romblon room of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.

“At first it was unbelievable but now, tanggap ko na po,” she said of being an Olympic gold medalist.

The 30-year-old weightlifter brought home the country’s first Olympic gold from the Tokyo Games last week. Upon her arrival, she was quarantined for eight days in a spacious suite.

Diaz said upon her request, a barbell and treadmill were brought into her room so she could sweat it out.

“Baka mabaliw ako kung hindi ako mag-buhat at mag-exercise,” said Diaz, who admitted enjoying the food while in isolation. She said she never touched the weighing scale in her room.

“Nakakapanibago,” said Diaz, facing a small crowd that included Samahang Weighlifting ng Pilipinas chief Monico Puentevella, Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen and strength coach Julius Naranjo.

Romero, who promised Filipino athletes P3 million for each gold, P2 million for silver and P1 million for bronze in Tokyo, was joined by AirAsia executive Erick Arejola.

The congressman, who had donned the Philippine jersey as a trap shooter and polo player, tipped his hat off to Diaz.

“She’s our Superwoman, our super-hero,” said Romero.

“We are fortunate that we have an athlete like Hidilyn Diaz winning our first gold in the Olympics. And this should open the doors to all our athletes,” he added.

“We waited 97 years for this. Let’s not wait another 100 years for our next gold medal,” added Romero.

Diaz and company left the hotel premises on board a black Toyota Alphard. Significantly, she wasn’t wearing the gold medal around her neck.

She had it in her pocket.

HIDILYN DIAZ
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