Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz claims silver in Rio

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 08, 2016 06:29 AM
Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz claims silver in Rio
Hidilyn Diaz, of the Philipines, wipes away tears after winning the silver medal in the women's 53kg weightlifting competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

RIO DE JANEIRO - The drought is over! 

After two decades, the Philippines can once again lay claim to an Olympic medal, thanks to the efforts of Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who claimed the silver medal in the Women's 53-KG division, Sunday afternoon (Monday morning in the Philippines).

 

The Zamboangeña gives the Philippines its first Olympic medal since boxer Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco took home, coincidentally enough, also a silver medal back in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. 

Diaz tallied a total score of 200, scoring 88 kilograms in the snatch technique and 112 kilograms in the clean and jerk. Chinese-Taipei's Hsu Shu-ching took home gold with a total score of 212, while South Korea's Yoon Jin-Hee claimed bronze with a total score of 199. 

A three-time Olympian, Diaz made her Olympic debut back in the 2008 Beijing Games and returned in the 2012 London Games, competing both times in the women's 58-KG division. She was the Philippines' flag-bearer in 2012. 

A tearful Diaz won after failing to medal in the last two Olympics. She lifted in the 58kg class in Beijing as a 17-year-old and impressed many in the field, but she failed on all her clean and jerk attempts in London. Diaz dropped down to the lighter class for Rio, which had just seven competitors.

"I have tried so hard. I have stumbled many times," Diaz said. "I wanted to quit, but now all of my sacrifices have paid off."

She qualified for the Rio Games after winning bronze in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championship in Houston, Texas.

The 25-year old Diaz is the fourth Pinoy to compete in the Rio Olympics so far, following table-tennis bet Yan Lariba, swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna, and boxer Charly Suarez, all of whom came up short in their medal bids. 

Lariba, who was the flagbearer in the opening ceremony, fell to Xing Han of Congo, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7 in the women's singles table tennis event.

Lacuna, who competed in his second straight Olympics, finished 46th out of 50 participants in the men's 400-m freestyle.

Suarez bowed down to European champion Joe Cordina via split decision in the lightweight division.

(With a report from the Associated Press)

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