- Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz dedicated her victory to her mother
- She won the medal on the same day her mother was celebrating birthday
- She said her sacrifices and her mother’s incessant prayers eventually paid off
MANILA, Philippines – Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz has dedicated her victory to her mother who is celebrating her birthday on the same day she won in the competition.
Diaz won second place in the women’s 53-kilogram weightlifting division and clinched the silver medal; the first medal the Philippine delegates won in Rio, and also the first the country had in two decades.
In an interview with Inquirer, Diaz said the medal will be her gift to her mother who prayed so hard for her daughter’s success in the 2016 Olympics.
“I dedicate this medal to my mother, it is her birthday today, (and) to the Philippines. We have been wanting this for 10 years, 20 years,” Inquirer quoted Diaz as saying.
The 25-year-old lass from Zamboanga City is the first female weightlifter to compete for the Philippines in the Olympics and is also the first Filipina weightlifter to compete in consecutive Olympics (2008 and 2012).
She previously won 10th place at the 2006 Asian Games and was a bronze medalist in the 2007 SEA Games; both in 53-kilogram class.
Her silver medal was the first since boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won silver at 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
In celebrating her victory, Diaz said: “I have tried so hard. I have stumbled many times. I wanted to quit, but now all of my sacrifices have paid off.”
Meanwhile, three Filipino athletes eventually bowed out of the completion on Saturday for failing to beat their rivals – table tennis player Ian Lariba, swimmer Jessie Lacuna and boxer Charly Suarez.