Hidilyn's victory attracts foreign media attention

Published July 27, 2021, 9:02 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from AFP

Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal triumph in the Tokyo Olympics was not lost on foreign media outlets which dedicated space and time in reporting the breakthrough achievements.

The New York Times was among those that published Diaz’s feat with descriptions on how she was able to win the women’s 55-kg division and her humble beginnings in Zamboanga City.

“But as the other top contenders approached the barbells grim-faced on Monday, Diaz kept smiling. On the final lift, the top three competitors and their coaches scrambled to decide what weight they should call. Too light, and they might be outpaced. Too heavy, and they might not make the lift,” wrote Hannah Beech, who is the Times’ Southeast Asian bureau chief.

“For her last turn, the Chinese competitor cleared 126 kilograms, an Olympic record, with barely a hint of discomfort. To win, Diaz would have to surpass what she had done before — by two kilograms. She pulled the bar to her clavicle, then staggered for a moment as she thrust the barbells into the sky. One Mississippi, two Mississippi.

“The gold was hers,” Beech also described.

American network NBC, which broadcasts the Games in the United States, also made mention of Diaz’s accomplishment during its nightly roundup while also posting articles on its Olympic website.

NBC also tweeted Diaz’s golden win on its Olympic-dedicated Twitter account.

The British press also posted articles about Diaz’s win, with one tabloid highlighting the financial rewards she’s set to receive from both government and private sector.

“DIAZ DELIGHT” was the head used by The Sun in relation to the Filipina’s P33 million reward which is converted to 447 pounds.

Chinese news agency Xinhua wrote a straight news reporting of Diaz for its subscribers while quoting the coach of China’s Liao Qiuyun, who settled for silver after Diaz lifted an Olympic record of 127 kg on her final attempt.

“I didn’t expect such a situation,” said Liao’s coach Zhong Guozheng. “Liao has gone all out, so it’s not a huge pity for her to lose the gold medal. It’s just because we did not expect our opponent (Diaz) to be so strong.”

In Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post put up not only a news article but also a one-minute and 45-second video on Diaz.

In Malaysia, several websites and publications put focus on her time training in a house in the state of Melaka.

Diaz and her team were forced to stay in the Southeast Asian country when the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, eventually settling on a house outside of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The Malay Mail used the head: “A Melaka kampung house’s role in Philippines weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz’s path to Olympic glory.”