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Diaz bags gold in weightlifting again at SEA Games

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | May 20,2022 - 07:32 PM

Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz celebrates as she wins gold in the women’s 55kg weightlifting event during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi on May 20, 2022. (Photo by Tang Chhin Sothy and TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP)

Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz celebrates as she wins gold in the women’s 55kg weightlifting event during the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Hanoi on May 20, 2022. (Photo by Tang Chhin Sothy and TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The golden girl, Hidilyn Diaz secured the gold medal in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting event of the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Friday, May 20, 2022 at the Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Center.

The highly-popular Diaz who bagged the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics last year finished her campaign by lifting a total of 206-kilograms in the finals. She lifted 92kg in the snatch and 114kg in the clean and jerk to defend her gold medal that she won in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila.

2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist Tanasan Sanikun of Thailand bagged the silver medal with a total of 203kg lift (93 kgs in snatch and 110 kgs in clean and jerk). Indonesia’s Natasya Beteyob settled for bronze medal with a total lift of 188kgs.

Diaz bucked a failed attempt with the 118kg and 121kgs during the clean and jerk category, but managed to recover from the ordeal and won the gold medal after. 

“My journey towards Paris (Olympics) starts here, so this SEA Games gold is very important for me,” said the 30-year-old Diaz. 

“Napaka-meaningful nito (SEAG). After winning the gold medal, bumalik pa din ako, nakapag-deliver ng gold medal for the Philippines. Masaya ako na nandito ako ulit sa SEA Games, na i-represent ang Pilipinas,” she said.

(This is so meaningful (SEAG). After winning the gold medal, I still returned, I still delivered a gold medal for the Philippines. I am happy to be here again at the SEA Games, that I represent the Philippines.)

New record made, broken

With a predominantly Filipino crowd that included Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham Tolentino and Chef de Mission and Philippine Sports Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, cheering her on, Diaz set a new record in SEA Games of 92kgs in the snatch.

However, the record was immediately surpassed by Tanasan who bested Diaz’s lift by a kilogram to snatch the new record and led the competition at the break.

However, Diaz didn’t feel concerned at all. 

“The clean and jerk is where she really stands out,” said sports psychologist Dr. Karen Trinidad, who is part of Diaz’s world-class support staff known as Team HD.

True enough, Diaz was at her best in the clean and jerk, where she pounced on the field with an initial 114-kg lift that proved heavy for the other competitors to best. 

“We studied our opponent, we know she’s strong in the snatch, but not so much in the clean and jerk. But of course, we cannot downplay the competition. I always do my best,” said Diaz, adding that it was a struggle training for the SEA Games after her busy schedule as a result of her Tokyo Olympic gold triumph.

“I was able to drop my weight from 61 to 55, that is why I’m so grateful with Team HD to reach this performance again,” added Diaz, who plans to take part in the World Championships and the Asian Games, just before the Paris games.

Seeing action on Saturday are Denmark Tarro (men’s 73 kgs), Elreen Ann Ando (women’s 64 kgs) and Vanessa Sarno (women’s 71 kgs).

On Sunday, it will be the turn of John Kevin Padullo (men’s 89 kgs), Kristel Macrohon (women’s 71 kgs and John Dexter Tabique (men’s 89 kgs).


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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Hidilyn Diaz, SEA Games, Thailand, weightlifting

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