Hidilyn Diaz, 28, of the Philippines contributed to the gold medals of her home country in the ongoing Southeast Asian Games 2019. She won at the women’s weightlifting competition at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila, Philippines on December 2, 2019.
Weighing 55kg and standing 146cm, Diaz competed in the 55kg category. She lifted 91kg in her first snatch attempt and 120kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 211kg, which was enough to beat four other weightlifters.
Nguyen Thi Thuy, 29, of Vietnam lifted 82kg in the snatch and 115kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 197kg. She earned the silver medal.
The bronze medal was given to Klarisa Juliana, 17, of Indonesia, who carried 80kg in the snatch and 95kg in the clean and jerk for total of 175kg. Elly Cascandra Engelbert, 19, of Malaysia and Vue Maiyia, 17, of Laos earned total scores of 164 and 138, respectively.
“Maganda ang 2019 ko (My 2019 has been good),” Diaz after her SEA Games 2019 victory at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. “Ang laki ng naging progress ng training ko, technique ko, then, right track kami towards Tokyo 2020 (There has been a great progress in my training, my technique, then we are on the right track towards Tokyo 2020.”
Winning at the SEA Games 2019 is just the first step for Diaz to secure a ticket to the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Tokyo, Japan. She also needs to excel in the 2020 editions of the Euro Cup and the Asian championships.
This marks the first time Diaz won a gold medal in the SEA Games. In 2007, she won a bronze medal in the 24th edition of the biennial multi-sport event, which was hosted by Thailand.
In 2006, Diaz competed in the women’s weightlifting competition in the 53kg division in the Asian Games, which took place in Doha, Qatar. She finished in the 10th place.
In 2016, Diaz competed in the same division in the Summer Olympics, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She won the silver medal making her the first Filipino woman to win a Olympic medal.
In 2017, Diaz was supposed to compete in women’s weightlifting representing the Philippines in the SEA Games in Malaysia but the host country removed the sport in the lineup. In September 2019, she won two bronze medals in the 2019 International Weightlifting Federation World Championship in Pattaya, Thailand.
Watch Diaz’s performance at the 2019 SEA Games here: