Hidilyn Diaz said she never imagined lifting 127kg in the clean and jerk – let alone set an Olympic record.
The country's first Olympic gold medalist revealed it was the first time she lifted 127kg in the clean and jerk, months after she kept trying but failing during training.
"Nata-try ko na siya sa training pero di ko pa nagagawa. Every time tina-try ko, di ko nagagawa, umiiyak ako, sobrang lugi ako sa mga training pag 'di ko nagagawa pero at least na-try ko sa training," Diaz admitted during a press conference on Tuesday, July 27.
(I've been trying it during training, but I haven't been able to lift it. Every time I try it, I couldn't do it, so I cry and I feel that I get the short end of the stick when I fail, but at least I've tried it.)
It came to a battle for the gold after eventual bronze medalist Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan failed to lift 125kg in her last clean and jerk attempt.
Both Diaz and world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China had one attempt left, where the Chinese cleared 126kg for the lead.
The Filipina had nothing to lose and declared 127kg for the last attempt of the competition, and lifted it with flying colors.
"Pero di ko na-expect na mabuhat ko iyon kahapon," said Diaz. "Siguro si God iyon and all the people who prayed kahapon. Sobrang thankful ako sa lahat ng nagdasal and nagnobena."
(I did not expect to lift it yesterday. I guess that was God and all the people who prayed for me yesterday. I'm thankful to those who prayed and did the novena.)
Diaz felt that she overcame all odds in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as Liao still holds the world record in the event with 102kg in the snatch, 129kg in the clean and jerk, and 227kg for the total.
But the Chinese matched Diaz's 97kg in the snatch and fell 1kg short in the clean and jerk to settle for silver.
As the women's 55kg event made its debut in the quadrennial meet, Diaz set the Olympic records for the clean and jerk and total.
The 30-year-old weightlifter from Zamboanga became the first Filipina double Olympic medalist after her 2016 Rio Olympic silver medal conquest.
Swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso is the only other multi-medaled Filipino Olympian after winning the bronze in the men’s 200 meter breaststroke in the 1928 Amsterdam and 1932 Los Angeles Games. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.