Palace celebrates as Hidilyn Diaz lifts PH to 1st Olympic gold

Published July 26, 2021, 9:55 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang was elated as Filipino Olympian Hidilyn Diaz captured the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, Japan on Monday, July 26.

File photo of President Duterte meeting Hidilyn Diaz in Malacañang on October 16, 2019. (MANILA BULLETIN/RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Diaz emerged victorious at the 55kg in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics weightlifting competition.

In a statement, Roque extended the Palace’s well-wishes to Diaz for putting the Philippines on the map.

“The Palace congratulates Hidilyn Diaz for bringing pride and glory to the Philippines for winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal (weightlifting women’s 55kg),” he said.

“Congratulations, Hidilyn. The entire Filipino nation is proud of you. Laban, Pilipinas (Fight, Philippines)!” he added.

Diaz, who is also a member of the Philippine Air Force, successfully lifted 127kgs — an Olympic record –– on her third and last attempt at clean and jerk which gave her a total of 224kgs.

The 30-year-old weightlifter had her best lift of 97kgs in snatch. Her total of 224kgs also set an Olympic mark.

She edged out China’s Liao Qiuyun, the previous record holder, who finished with a total of 223kgs following her 97kgs in snatch and 126kgs in clean and jerk.

Diaz also became the first Filipino athlete to win double Olympic medals after her silver medal finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Her victory earned the Philippines’ 11th medal since the country took part in the Olympics in 1924. So far, it is the country’s only gold.

However, Diaz’s Gold-medal journey in the Olympics was not a walk in the park. She spent the past 18 months training in Malaysia.

In 2019, Malacañang accused Diaz of participating in ouster plots against the President. Diaz denied the allegations and admitted she feared for her life after being included in the oust-Duterte matrix during the 2019 elections.

In the same year, Diaz sought sponsorship from private companies for her Tokyo 2020 Olympics training.