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List of Articles by Rich Mazon


 

HIDILYN DIAZ MAKES HISTORY IN RIO

By Rich Mazon
PhilBoxing.com
08 Aug 2016



On her third try in the world's biggest stage, not only did Hidilyn Diaz fulfilled her lifelong dream, she also achieved her nation's twenty-year old dream.

The drought is over for the Philippines. The country has earned a silver medal in the ongoing Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The silver medal, the country's first medal since the 1996 Summer Olympics was won by 25 year old Hidilyn Diaz of Zamboanga City, Philippines in the Women's - 53 kg Weightlifting competition Sunday afternoon (Monday morning in the Philippines) in Brazil.

Diaz was a bemedaled weightlifter in various world competitions. Her recent accomplishments include a bronze medal (53 kg) in the International Weightlifting Federation's World Championships held in Houston, Texas in 2015 and another bronze in the recently concluded Asian Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last April.

This is Diaz's third Olympic bid, she was a young teenager at 17 years of age in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China and was the country's flag-bearer during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

A previous campaigner in the 58 kilogram division in her last two Olympic stints, Diaz dropped down to the 53 kilogram division in the Rio Games. It was a decision that gave her and her country a place amongst the world's best in the grandest and biggest sports competition in the world.

The Philippines had its last taste of an Olympic medal twenty years ago in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The popular Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco Jr. won the silver medal in the Men's Light Flyweight (48 kilogram) division in boxing.

Diaz is one of seven children of a tricycle driver and fell in love with the sport while growing in her hometown of Zamboanga City in Mindanao. She finished second to Chinese-Taipei's Shu-Ching Hsu (gold) and above South Korea's Yoon Jin-hee (bronze).

Her triumph today also set another history in the annals of Philippine sports - Hinalyn Diaz, a diminutive 5 footer is the FIRST FILIPINA to ever win an Olympic medal. The eight great athletes before her who brought the country Olympic pride and honor were all males. She is also the first from her sport (and the first athlete from Mindanao) to earn a prestigious Olympic win for the Philippines.

You can reach the author at rrmaze24@aol.com and @Freemazon910 on Twitter.


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