MANILA, Philippines – Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who was unable to lift the required weights in three attempts, explained to Filipinos what happened during that fateful day when she was unexpectedly eliminated from the 52kg event, Monday, July 30.
Diaz explained that in her first attempt, she had lifted the weight but knew she had made a mistake since her elbow touched her knee during the lift. She stood, waiting for the judges to call her out, but they didn’t.
“Foul yung buhat ko, naitayo ko yung barbell,” she told the hosts of ANC’s sports show Hardball, on Wednesday, August 1. “Hinihintay ko yung judge ipadown yung barbell sakin, tsaka ko lang nakalimutan mag jerk.”
(My first lift was a foul, even if I was able to carry the barbell. I waited for the judge to ask me to drop the barbell, so I forgot to jerk).
She said her coach told her she was too honest. Diaz said that first lift completely set her off for the next two attempts, as it made her feel disoriented and dizzy.
“Nahilo ako,” she said. “Yung katawan ko, 2 minutes lang yung rest. Hindi [nakarecover].”
(I felt dizzy. My body only had 2 minutes to rest before the next lift. It didn’t recover).
In weightlifting, the aim is to lift the heaviest weight possible. Lifters are given three attempts at the snatch, and three more at the clean and jerk. Their best scores for each are then added together for their final score.
Diaz started well, lifting 97-kg in the snatch during her second and third attempt. It was the second heaviest weight in her group.
But Diaz was unable to replicate her success in the clean and jerk. Trying three times, she failed to lift 118-kg.
The no lift meant Diaz was automatically eliminated.
This is the second games for Diaz, who was the flag bearer of the country in the Olympic opening ceremonies. She hopes to compete again in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Olympics.
In Beijing, the then 17-year-old Diaz finished 11th overall. Her impressive performance in 2008 made her elimination from London all the more surprising.
Diaz, who was also the flag bearer during the opening ceremonies, holds the Philippine record of 219-kg for the 58-kg event. She has lifted a 96-kg in the snatch, and 123-kg in the clean and jerk.
The 21-year-old was tearful after her disappointing performance but said she was feeling better a few days after.
“Medyo ok naman po, may nagchecheer sa akin kaya medyo ok na ang feelings ko (I am ok now, there are people cheering for me so I’m feeling better),” she said.
Filipinos expressed their support for Diaz on Twitter while she competed, making her as trending topic on the social media site. – Rappler.com