Golden girl Hidilyn Diaz ‘nervous and anxious’ but never in doubt during Olympics showing

PHOTO CAPTION: AN ENTIRE NATION CELEBRATES. The Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz whoops it up after placing first in the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition to win the country’s first-ever gold medal during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo Pinto/AFP)

(Mark Giongco/Inquirer Sports)

MANILA, Philippines–There were a lot of anxious moments, but there was never any doubt that Hidilyn Diaz could pull off what she set out to do on the grandest stage of sports.

Diaz, competing in her fourth straight Olympics, finally got over the hump after conquering the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Games to claim the Philippines’ first-ever gold medal.

“Hindi ko alam na Olympic record na yung ginagawa ko. Hindi rin ako makapaniwala na nandoon pangalan ko sa Olympic record so I’m really thankful,” said Diaz after her emotional win.

(I didn’t know that I was able to set the Olympic record. I also couldn’t believe that my name is in the Olympic record so I’m really thankful.)

“Sa totoo lang kinakabahan ako baka hindi ko magawa pero the whole day, the whole week sinasabi ko, ‘I believe, I believe’ atsaka prepared ako. Sa lahat ng pinagdaanan ko pinrepare ako ni God to be strong today. Thankful ako sa Team HD na ginawa akong malakas.”

(Honestly, I was nervous that I won’t be able to do it but the whole day, the whole week I kept telling myself, ‘I believe, I believe.’ I was also prepared. For everything that I went through, God prepared me to be strong today. I’m thankful for Team HD for making me strong.)

The 30-year-old pride of Zamboanga City set a pair of Olympic records with 127kg in the clean & jerk and a total lift of 224kg.

Diaz, who came from humble beginnings and started weightlifting by using homemade barbells at 11 years old, took down a formidable field that included world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China.

Liao tallied a total of 223kg for the silver medal while Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan took the bronze. (Mark Giongco/Inquirer Sports)

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