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Zamboanguena bags Silver in Rio 2016 Olympics

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz ends 20-year PH medal drought
after bagging silver in Rio Olympic. (Photo Credit: spin.ph)

By IRMA S. BOZA
Iligan City, Philippines

Hidilyn Diaz of Zamboanga City made history for the Philippines in securing a silver medal in the women’s 53-kg weightlifting division of the Rio 2016 Olympic that ended the 20 year Olympic medal drought last Sunday August 7 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, reports said.


Hidilyn, a Zamboanguena, the fifth in the brood of six was born on February 20 1991. She studied Computer Science at the Universidad de Zamboanga. Diaz is the first female athlete to win an Olympic Medal for the Philippines.

With her parents unable to make ends meet has aspired Diaz to dream big. She recalls the time when their family would just eat meals of rice pared with soy sauce or salt.

Last August 7, 2016 after a long way Diaz was awarded with the women’s 53 kg silver medal of the 2016 Rio Olympics weightlifting competition at the Riocentro Pavilion 2 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. She is set to receive a P5 million cash incentive and a brand new Deca Homes house-and-lot when she returns.

She also earned the victory of ending the 20-year Olympic medal drought of the country as well as becoming the first Filipina and first Mindanaoan to win an Olympic medal.

President Rodrigo Duterte through an interview with ABS-CBN said that he would like to congratulate Diaz for the honor she has given to us and our country and prays that she will be successful in her quest of life and for the Olympics to come.

MalacaƱang will give Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz a special welcome when she returns from the Rio Olympics.

Diaz who went live via Facebook said. “Expected ko lang mag bronze ako kasi nga ang pressure ng laro iba talaga. Prayers, tapos sabi ko paano ba yun sa training ba’t di ko magawa. Nilagay ko lang sarili ko sa lugar kung anong dapat kong gawin, anong dapat na i-tight na muscle. God’s grace nakaya ko.”

She also thanked all the Filipinos all over the world for supporting her through prayers.

In 2008 Summer Olympics Diaz was the youngest competitor in the women’s 58-kg category while winning a bronze medal in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand and achieved 10th place at the 2006 Asian Games in the 53-kilogram class.

Diaz was selected as a wild card entry to the Summer Olympics by the Philippine Weightlifting Association in early 2008. At age 17, she lifted 85-kg in the snatch and 107-kg in the clean and jerk for a 192-kg total, breaking the Philippine record that she herself set at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games.

In the 2012 Olympics she made another run bearing the Philippine flag and ended up in the lower half of 19 competitors wherein she was unable to record an official lift in the clean and jerk part of the completion.

Reports say that on 2014 it was the year that Diaz life changed.

She lost her trusted coach that lead to a tough break up and brought discreditable performance as an athlete while missing the Asian Games and the World Weightlifting Championships that year.

“It was the worst year of her life, and until now, has no idea how she pulled through.” She told the media. Diaz claims she had overcome and had taken control of that chapter.

After years of declining sports science Diaz got into diet with a nutritional plan abiding on healthy diet habits.

In 2015 she got herself a nutritionist who gave her proper food every day and she opened herself up to more people rather than focusing to just one coach making her a better athlete.

As part of her preparation for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics she had a month long training camp at China with planned practice sessions through each week with various levels of difficulty.

Hidilyn Diaz headed to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with much confidence and determination to make her third and last Olympic run.

Heavy favorite Li Yajun of China failed to complete the clean and jerk, whileHsu Shu-Ching of Chinese Taipei copped the gold instead.

Li lifted 101 kilograms in the first round to take the lead in the clean and jerk and she needed to lift 126 kilos to win the gold but failed.

Hsu, a reigning world champion and London Olympics silver medalist, ended up with the gold having lifted 100 kilos in snatch and 112 in clean and jerk for an overall score of 212 while Diaz totaled 200 kgs.

Jin Hee Yoon of South Korea won bronze. She had won silver at the 2008 Beijing Games. The New Ranao Star

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