Rio 2016: Hidilyn Diaz ends Philippine Olympic medal drought with weightlifting silver
By Paolo Del Rosario CNN Philippines August 8, 2016
(CNN Philippines) — The Philippines has its first medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics after Hidilyn Diaz finished with a score of 200kg at the women’s 53kg category in weightlifting on Monday.
Diaz’ silver medal is the country’s first since Onyok Velasco’s triumph at the 1996 games in Atlanta.
Initially thought to be a two-horse race between Chinese-Taipei’s Hsu Shu-Ching and China’s Li Yajun, the rest of the field was seen to be competing for the bronze.
It looked that way after Hsu and Li took a commanding lead after the snatch portion of the competition with scores of 101kg and 100kg, respectively.
While Latvia’s Rebeka Kohn led the rest of the pack with a score of 90kg.
In the clean and jerk portion, Diaz cleared 111kg on her first attempt, forcing Korea’s Yoon Jin Hee to successfully manage at least 111kg of her own.
Yoon scored 111kg on her third attempt, but the Filipina chalked up 112kg on her second attempt to secure at least a bronze medal for the country.
The Chinese-Taipei national logged in 112kg on the scoreboard with her first lift, placing her in pole position to notch the gold.
China’s Li attempted to lift 123kg on her first attempt, but failed due to a hyperextended left elbow. The failure proved to be the pivotal moment of the competition as Li could not complete any of her attempts in the clean and jerk portion.
Li’s inability to successfully lift 123kg once pushed Diaz up the podium to a silver medal finish, while Korea’s Yoon ended up with the bronze.
Philippines gets 3rd silver medal in Olympics
The number 13 has turned out to be a lucky number for the Philippines after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz broke a 20-year medal drought for the country after winning a silver medal in the Rio Olympics on Monday morning.
Diaz, 25, one of 13 Philippine athletes competing in Rio, finally won a medal after three Olympic stints. Her first was in the 2008 Beijing Games followed by the 2012 London Games where she also served as the flag-bearer.
It is only the Philippines’ third silver medal in the Olympics, and Diaz’s silver is the first outside of boxing.
Light flyweight boxer Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco won the silver in the 1996 Atlanta Games.
The Philippines’ first silver medal was won by featherweight boxer Anthony Villanueva in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
The Philippines has won 7 bronze medals in the Olympics for a grand total so far of 10 medals (3 silvers) since 1928.
The Philippines has yet to win a gold medal in the Olympics. Bowler Arianne Cerdena won the gold in the 1988 Seoul Olympics when bowling was a demonstration sport.
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