JULY 27, 2021: Thank you for praying – this is what Hidilyn Diaz posted on social media while holding up her Olympic gold medal and a small medal of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the other hand. The 30-year-old was thanking God and all her fans for praying for her win. She beat Liao Qiuyun of China in the 55kg weightlifting class.
After winning the gold medal Diaz told the media: “I don’t know if I’m a national hero. But I’m thankful that God used me to inspire all the young generation and all the Philippines people to keep fighting during this pandemic.”
Diaz, who is a Sergeant in the Philippine Air Force, won gold with a 97kg snatch and a flawless series of 119kg, 124kg and 127kg (Olympic Record) in her three clean and jerk attempts. She set a new Olympic record with a combined weight of 224kg (OR).
It was reported that Diaz came to Malaysia in February 2020 to do her training on the advice of her coach Gao Kaiwen.
Due to the Covid-19 restriction, her training in Kuala Lumpur was disrupted and in October 2020, she moved to a rural area in Jasin, Melaka to train. Diaz, the daughter of a tricycle driver in a poor village near Zamboanga, the southern island of Mindanao, has not seen her family since December 2019. – From various media sources