Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz Wins Philippines’ First Olympic Gold Medal
by Jim Bea Sampaga
For the first time since the Philippines joined the Olympics in 1924, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines’ first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on July 26.
Hailing from Zamboanga, the 30-year-old not only won the gold medal but also set two new Olympic records in weightlifting: 127kg in the clean and jerk and a total lift of 224kg.
The Tokyo Olympics isn’t Diaz’s first Olympic games.
She went to the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics but it wasn’t until the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics that she won a silver medal in women’s weightlifting.
Diaz is the first Filipina athlete to bring home double Olympic medals.
She is also one of the three Filipino athletes who has brought home Olympic medals for the Philippines.
In 1928 Amsterdam and 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso won bronze medals. While in 1996 Atlanta, boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won the silver medal in the light flyweight division.