The long-awaited quest by the Philippines for its first Olympic gold has finally ended.
Filipinos on Monday night, July 26, applauded weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz after she delivered the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the country.
Diaz ruled the women’s 55kg weightlifting event, edging out world champion Liao Qiuyun of China and Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan.
Several netizens and personalities hailed Diaz’ historic Olympic win.
“The Philippine anthem being played at the Olympics gave me goosebumps! All thanks to Ms. Hidilyn Diaz for making history by winning the 55kg Women’s Weightlifting,” a Twitter user said.
“Saw Hidilyn Diaz’ video and I cried at the part after she put down the weight and she started crying like she couldn’t believe what she’s just done,” another one wrote.
For some, Diaz’s victory became a much-needed spirit lift for the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Gold! Thank you, Hidilyn Diaz, for lifting our nation’s spirit, at a time when we need it the most!”
“Hidilyn Diaz winning the first-ever gold for the Philippines is the silver lining we needed today.”
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo and basketball coach Chot Reyes likewise congratulated Diaz.
“Big win for the Philippines! Thank you for making us proud, Hidilyn,” Robredo wrote on Twitter.
Fellow Olympians pole vaulter EJ Obiena and Taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa also took to social media to share their congratulatory messages to Diaz.
The 30-year-old Zamboanga native ended the country’s Olympic long medal drought with a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Diaz also bagged the country’s first gold medal in the 2018 Asian Games.