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Weightlifter Earns Country's First Ever Olympic Gold Medal After Nearly 100 Years

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Weightlifter Earns Country's First Ever Olympic Gold Medal After Nearly 100 Years

Hidilyn Diaz burst into tears before her weights had even settled on the ground.

The Filipino Olympian knew she had clinched the gold medal in the women's 55kg weightlifting class with an impressive 127kg lift.

It was enough to beat China's world record holder Liao Qiuyun and Hidilyn couldn't contain her emotions when she realised she'd done it.

Winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games is a feat that deserves a high level of emotion.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, Ms Diaz was particularly overcome with happiness as her win meant she was the first person in her country's history to ever get the gold.

The Philippines sent their first delegation of athletes to the 1924 Paris Games and they have failed to get the top prize in any category ever since.

Ninety-seven years later and Hidilyn Diaz has broken that drought.

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She cried with joy as she accepted her gold medal on the podium and saluted as the Filipino national anthem played for the first time at the Games.

Athletes all around the world were forced to adapt as the coronavirus pandemic not only pushed the Tokyo Games out by a year but also made training very difficult for some sports.

Hidilyn Diaz knows that all too well after she built her own makeshift gym in Malaysia during a particularly nasty Covid-19 outbreak, according to News Corp.

The now-gold medalist posted a video of her resorting to training with household items while in her apartment in December, which included bamboo sticks and 2kg water jugs.

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She wrote alongside the video: "Time flies so fast during this pandemic. The lockdown started last March and now, we are approaching December.

"Looking back when the first lockdown (MCO) happened, me and #TeamHD were so worried. We were wondering where we would train and if our journey toward Olympics will stop.

"Good thing I'm with good company and we became creative to find ways to train. We do everything to stay in track and in shape for Olympics.

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"Yes, I do this. I carry a bottle of water for my weightlifting training. It's hard but we survive, still living the dream in my heart."

Diaz was already a massive sporting celebrity in her native Philippines after winning a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games.

In doing that impressive feat, she ended a 20-year medal drought for the archipelago and also became the first woman from the country to ever win an Olympic meal.

Now that she's won gold, she hopes to inspire a whole new generation of Filipino athletes.

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"I'm looking forward to enjoy life because I have been in Malaysia for, I don't know, almost two years so I'm really thankful I can go home now and celebrate with my family and the people who support me," she said.

Hidilyn Diaz was forced to train with household items during lockdown last year and she's managed to bring home the gold.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Tokyo Olympics, Inspirational

Stewart Perrie
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