Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz from Zamboanga City nabs silver, PH’s first Olympic medal in 20 years

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MANILA, Philippines  On her third Olympics trip, she finally did it. And all the disappointments became worth it.

Hidilyn Diaz made history for the Philippines, ending the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought by securing a silver medal in the women’s 53kg weightlifting division of the 2016 Summer Games on Sunday, August 7 (Monday morning, August 8 in Manila) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Diaz, a native of Zamboanga City, also becomes the first female athlete to win an Olympic medal for the Philippines.

The 25-year-old Diaz, who was a bronze medalist in the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships, recorded a total weight of 200.

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In the snatch event, Diaz failed to lift two of her 3 attempts and tallied just 88kg for 6th place in a tough field led by China and Chinese Taipei.

But Diaz, looking very comfortable and optimistic on the platform, recovered in the clean and jerk lift, successfully lifting 111kg in the first attempt and then a 112kg lift in her second attempt.

A series of unfortunate lifts befell the favored Li Yajun of China, who was a frontrunner in the snatch and was gunning for the gold, as she failed to clear any of her 3 attempts at the clean and jerk, opening the door for Diaz to grab the silver instead of the bronze.

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Chinese-Taipei’s Hsu Shu-Ching won the gold with a total weight of 212kg while Korea’s Yoon Jin Hee took the bronze with 199 kg.

Fellow weightlifter Nestor Colonia will be competing by 6am Manila time in the men’s 56kg.

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