Hidilyn Diaz: First Woman to Win Philippine Olympic Medal

Hidilyn Diaz ended a 20-year medal drought for the Philippines after she won silver medal in weightlifting at the Rio Olympic Games 2016 in Brazil.

Hailing from Zamboanga City, Diaz, 25, successfully lifted the second heaviest weight for the 53-kilogram division with an 88 kilogram at snatch and 112 kilogram for clean and jerk.

Hsu Shu-ching of Chinese Taipei ruled the class while South Korea’s Yoon Jin-hee took the bronze medal.

Malacañang on Monday hailed Diaz’s medal-worth performance as fellow Mindanaoan, President Rodrigo Duterte, sent his congratulatory message.

“On behalf of a proud nation, we congratulate Hidilyn Diaz for winning the Philippines’ first medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games,” Presidential Communications Operations (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in a press statement.

”Hers is about overcoming shyness but for an inspired nation, her road to Rio is a journey of grit, patience and determination which ended a 20-year long medal drought for the Philippines,” Andanar said.

It was in 1996 Atlanta Olympics where Mansueto Velasco won the country’s last silver medal. The Philippines is yet to win its Olympic gold medal since it joined the world’s most prestigious sports event in 1924.

Diaz will reportedly receive P5 million cash incentive, among others, based on the the newly-enacted Republic Act No. 10699 which expanded the coverage of incentives granted to national athletes and coaches.

During send off rites, President Duterte increased the allowance of the 13-man Philippine team from $1,000 to $3,000.