Hidilyn's Rio Olympics triumph is a story of sacrifice
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 08, 2016 04:53 PM
Hidilyn Diaz went from a 17-year-old wildcard to the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal.
Hidilyn Diaz's silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games was literally a product of blood, sweat, and tears.
Making her Olympic debut as a 17-year-old wildcard entry in Beijing back in 2008, Diaz has been through a roller coaster ride before achieving her monumental feat in Rio.
After that promising stint in China eight years ago, Diaz was reduced to tears in London in 2012, failing to complete a single clean and jerk attempt.
Since that disappointing finish, Diaz has cut her weight to compete in the 53-kg event for Rio, five kilograms lighter than in Beijing and London.
That calculated gamble paid off with a silver medal, the first for the Philippines in 20 years.
"Nagsimula siya sa mabigat. Somebody from abroad, even my friends from the Asian federation, told me to try to look for a way to get her go down in weight," former Philippine weightlifting head Monico Puentevella told ABS-CBN News' Dyan Castillejo.
"She had to re-adjust, she had to slim down. We to bring her down and that where she was more comfortable," he added.
Spending the better part of four years training in China, a powerhouse in Olympic weightlifting, was also a huge boost for Diaz.
"She trained in China before coming here [Rio] for about two to three months. She was trying in China with Nestor [Colonia].But even before that, she was training maybe three, four years ago also in China," Puentevella said.
"This is a story of sacrifice talaga and determination," he added of Diaz's historic feat.
The 25-year-old pride of Zamboanga City was also the first woman to win a medal in the Olympics for the Philippines.