Hidilyn Diaz wrote herself into Philippines sporting history after winning her country’s first ever Olympic gold medal.
Diaz, an Air Force servicewoman in the Philippines, has been living in exile in Malaysia due to the Covid pandemic and she was reduced to tears after dramatically winning gold in the women’s 55kg weightlifting class.
The 30-year-old took gold with her final lift of the day, obliterating her personal best to see off world-record holder Liao Qiuyun of China.
Diaz took silver in Rio in the 53kg class to end her nation’s 20-year wait for a medal but she went one better in Tokyo and could barely contain her emotions at hearing the national anthem.
Bloomberg reported that victory secured more than just a gold medal for Diaz.
She claimed 33 million pesos (£477,000) in cash from the government and several prominent businesses, as well as a house.
Prior to the Games the Philippine Sports Commission guaranteed a 10 million-peso incentive for every Olympic gold medal won.
The Philippines first competed at an Olympic Games in 1924 – 97 years ago when David Nepomuceno featured in 100m and 200m sprint races.Victory in Tokyo is only her nation’s 11th ever Olympic medal.
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