Silver for the Philippines in Rio 2016
The Philippines has earned its first medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through a Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz. Diaz grabbed the silver medal in her division of 53 kg. This group was led by Hsu Shu-Ching from Chinese Taipei.
This has officially ended Philippines medal drought since 1996. It was when boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won the silver medal during the Atlanta Olympic Games.
For a total of 200, Diaz scored 88 in snatch and 112 in clean and jerk. Her Chinese rival scored 212 points. Yoon Jin Hee from South Korea won the third place with 199 points.
During the competition, Diaz was guaranteed a bronze but she automatically bagged silver after a China’s athlete, Li Yajun failed to finish her clean and jerk. She attempted to lift 123 in the first try and for the second and third attempts, she tried 126. However, Li Yajun set an Olympic Record with 101 in the snatch.
Big Relief for the Philippines' Contingent
Diaz’s winning is a big relief as the Pinoy contingent quest for medal didn’t start quite well. Three Filipino athletes which include a potential medal grabber failed to conquer one of the spots on the podium.
Unfortunately, Ian Lariba the table tennis's star who is also the bearer of the Philippine flag during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games opening ceremony was the first one to be defeated after losing in straight sets.
As for swimmer, Jessie Lacuna, failed to keep up with his competitors in the 400-m freestyle (men). This is his second straight Olympics after London 2012. In addition, Charly Suarez has also failed after having to agree with a bitter split decision in the lightweight division.
Zamboanga and Filipino Pride
Hailing from Zamboanga City, Diaz, has a remarkable career’s best of 224 kgs. She joined the Philippines' team for Rio Games after bagging bronze in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championship which was held in Houston, Texas.
Back in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, Diaz competed under the 58-kg category and in 2012 London Games, she was Philippines’ flag-bearer.
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