The first Gold Medal for Team Philippines at the 2018 Asian Games was won by Hidilyn Diaz, delivering on a promise made to the Filipino people.
Diaz picked up her Asiad gold in Jakarta – also the first in weightlifting for the Philippines – winning over her competitors in the Women’s Weightlifting 53 kg. division after lifting a Total of 207 kg – 92 kg from snatch and 115 kg from clean and jerk.
In a post-game interview for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chatroom video Diaz said her gold medal should serve as encouragement to her fellow Asian Games athletes to get more golds for the country:
“Ito ang simula ng gold medal sa atin. Naniniwala ako sa lahat ng mga Pilipino athletes na kayang kaya natin yan. Nandito tayo to represent our country at nag training tayo, nag prepare at reding-ready tayo na iuwi ang gold medal para sa Pilipinas (This is just the first of our gold medals. I believe in all the Filipino athletes. We are here to represent our country after training, preparing – all ready to bring home the gold for the Philippines).”
In the interview Diaz, who hails from Zamboanga City, shared how she sacrificed time with her family and loved ones to make her dream come true:
“Isinakripisyo ko lahat ng gusto kong gawin with my family, mga ordinary things I want to treasure with my family pero inuna ko ito dahil pangarap ko itong maiuwi ang gold medal para sa Pilipinas (I sacrificed all the I wanted to do with my family, ordinary things I would treasure, just so I can bring home the gold medal for the Philippines).”
The Filipina lifter affirmed that her Asiad gold medal finish shows that weightlifters are key to getting the gold at the Olympics:
“Ang weightlifting ay para sa ating mga Pilipino, kaya suportahan po natin ang weightlifting. Sa weightlifting may chance tayo manalo lalong lalo na sa Olympics basta bigyan ninyo ang mga kailangan ng weightlifters (Weightlifting is right for Filipinos, so please let us support Filipino weightlifters by giving them what they need).”
Diaz is the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal when she finished with a Silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, ending the Philippine medal drought since the 1996 Atlanta Games silver finish in boxing.
The Olympian talked about her journey to the 2020 Olympics as filled with difficulties and needing financial and prayer support:
“Mahirap itong journey na ito. Marami akong larong lalaruin, maraming mga sakit na mararamdaman. Pero naniniwala ako na walang imposible kay God (This is a difficult journey. I have many competitions to join, much pain to endure. But I believe there is nothing impossible with God).”
Hidilyn Diaz’s gold pushed the Philippines notches up the Asian Games standing, now at 14th spot.
Watch Hidilyn Diaz in her PSC Chatroom video interview here: