MANILA, Philippines – Hidilyn Diaz has completed her collection of gold medals.
The Olympic champion finally broke through in the World Weightlifting Championships as she reigned in the women’s 55kg division in Bogota, Colombia on Wednesday, December 7 (Thursday, December 8, Manila time).
She cleared 93kg on snatch and 114kg on clean and jerk for a total lift of 207kg to beat out home bet Rosalba Morales of Colombia and Ana Gabriela Lopez of Mexico.
The victory saw Diaz add that elusive world title to her crammed trophy case that includes gold medals from the Olympics, Asian Games, and Southeast Asian Games.
Diaz time and again fell short of the top prize in the previous world championships, settling for bronze in the women’s 53kg in 2015 and 2017 and in the women’s 55kg in 2021.
But her keenly awaited crowning moment came in Colombia as Diaz accomplished a sweep of all three gold medals in the same event where she won the Philippines its first-ever Olympic title in the Tokyo Games last year.
She topped the snatch and the clean and jerk with hardly no challenge and finished eight kilograms ahead of silver medalist Morales.
What appeared to be a knee injury hampered the top seed Morales in her bid to capture gold in front of her compatriots as she landed third in snatch with 89kg and second in clean and jerk with 110kg for a total lift of 199kg.
Morales tried to put pressure on Diaz by going for 115kg only to register back-to-back no lifts on her last two clean and jerk attempts.
With the gold in the bag, Diaz went for 117kg and 121kg to pad her lead but failed.
Lopez wound up with bronze with a total lift of 198kg after clearing 90kg for second place in snatch and 108kg for third place in clean and jerk.
Earlier in the world championships, Nestor Colonia opened the Philippines campaign with a seventh-place finish in the men’s 55kg class.
Lovely Inan and Rosegie Ramos landed 13th and 17th, respectively, in the women’s 49kg division, while John Ceniza made the top 10 of the men’s 61kg class.
The Philippines has four more medal chances as Dave Lloyd Pacaldo (men’s 67kg), Elreen Ando (women’s 59kg), and Vanessa Sarno and Kristel Macrohon (women’s 71kg) have yet to see action. – Rappler.com