Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn Diaz to return home with Philippines’ first Olympic gold

Delfin Dioquino

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Hidilyn Diaz to return home with Philippines’ first Olympic gold

CHAMPION. Hidilyn Diaz wraps up her Tokyo Olympics run at the top of the weightlifting world.

Edgard Garrido/Reuters

As required by the strict Tokyo Games protocols, Hidilyn Diaz needs to leave Japan within 48 hours after her gold-medal run

The Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist comes back home.

Weightlifting star Hidilyn Diaz is set to return to the country on Wednesday, July 28, two days after she made history when she ruled the women’s 55kg division in the Tokyo Games.

Although it is mandatory, Philippine Olympic Committee Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said Diaz longs to be with her family soon after being away from them due to her Olympic buildup.

Diaz and her team spent the past year in Malaysia to gear up for her fourth straight Olympic stint.

“Hidilyn wants to be with her family who she hasn’t seen for more than one and a half years now,” Tolentino said in a press release.

Unlike past Olympics, athletes, sports officials, and even the media are required to leave Japan within 48 hours of completing their events and task as part of the Tokyo Games’ strict protocols.

Team Hidilyn Diaz, also composed of head coach Gao Kaiwen, strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo, nutritionist Jeaneth Aro, and sports psychologist Karen Trinidad, will undergo mandatory quarantine once they arrive in the country on board a Philippine Airlines flight.

Once cleared from the coronavirus, they are set for a warm welcome from the Philippine Sports Commission.

As fitting for an Olympic champion, Diaz will receive P33 million worth of cash incentives among other rewards, which also includes a P14-million condominium unit. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.