A weightlifter has won the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in almost a hundred years after the country experienced a "medal draught" ever since sent they sent their first delegation of athletes to Paris in 1924.
Hidilyn Diaz, who competed in the women's 55KG weightlifting class, was in tears after she lifted a very impressive 127KG in order to take the title. The Filipino athlete beat China's world record holder, Liao Qiuyun, with her lift and secured her number 1 position. Overcome with emotion, Diaz burst into tears even before the weights even hit the ground.
What makes the win all the more special was the fact that Diaz is the first-ever Filipino athlete to win the honor at the Olympics in almost a hundred years. Ever since the country sent its first delegation of athletes to Paris in 1924, they've failed to bring home the top prize, but ninety-six years later and here we are at the Tokyo Olympics and the Philippines has managed to clinch its first gold medal in weightlifting. If that doesn't deserve the emotional response it got, I don't know what does!
Diaz stood on the podium and saluted her country as the national anthem played for the first time since the start of the Games behind her. The scene was emotional; tears streamed down her face as she accepted her coveted gold medal.
PURE EMOTION from Hidilyn Diaz as she wins the Philippines' first Olympic gold medal in any sport 🇵🇭#TokyoOlympics | @OnHerTurf | #OlympicHERstory pic.twitter.com/uZPw1B2ISk
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 26, 2021
Back in November 2020, the Filipino athlete posted a video in which she had made a make-shift bar and weights so she could train from home in Malaysia during a heavy second-wave in the country. She used a combination of bamboo sticks and water bottles to do so.
Writing in the caption, she said this: "Time flies so fast during this pandemic. The lockdown started last March and now, we are approaching December. Looking back when the first lockdown (MCO) happened, me and #TeamHD were so worried. We were wondering where we would train and if our journey toward Olympics will stop.
She added: "Good thing I'm with good company and we became creative to find ways to train. We do everything to stay in track and in shape for Olympics.
"Yes, I do this. I carry a bottle of water for my weightlifting training. It's hard but we survive, still living the dream in my heart."
Congratulations to the Olympic gold medalist! Hopefully, this is the first of many more for the Philippines!