‘So proud’: Philippine weightlifter Diaz hailed for historic Olympic gold – France 24

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Manila (AFP)

With their eyes glued to a tv within the southern Philippines, the circle of relatives of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz yelled “push, push, push!” as she hoisted the bar to win the rustic’s first Olympic gold medal.

“Then we erupted in pleasure — we had been shouting, some shed tears of pleasure,” Emelita Diaz informed AFP Tuesday, an afternoon after observing her daughter’s historical efficiency in Tokyo — some distance from her native land of Zamboanga.

“We did not know what to really feel as a result of we had been extraordinarily satisfied.”

After just about 18 months coaching in exile in Malaysia as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, Diaz smashed her non-public very best and gained gold with a last blank and jerk of 127kg within the ladies’s 55kg elegance.

The 30-year-old’s triumph — which adopted her silver medal in Rio 5 years in the past — has made her a countrywide hero, along the likes of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.

“Thanks, Hidilyn Diaz, for the first-ever Olympic Gold for the Philippines! We’re so happy with you!” Pacquiao tweeted from the USA the place he’s coaching for his upcoming battle towards American Errol Spence.

The feat may be a life-changing providence for Diaz, the daughter of a tricycle driving force at the southern island of Mindanao.

As a praise for successful gold, Diaz will obtain no less than 33 million pesos ($655,000) from the federal government and personal sector, in addition to a area.

Assets developer Megaworld Company additionally introduced Tuesday it could give the Philippine Air Drive girl a residential condo value 14 million pesos.

It might additionally turn out a “game-changer” for different Filipino athletes, presidential spokesman Harry Roque stated Tuesday, acknowledging govt monetary beef up was once inadequate.

“It is as though our athletes are handiest getting minimal salary,” he stated.

– ‘We really feel empowered’ –

Diaz’s surprising victory was once splashed around the entrance pages of Philippine newspapers and ruled web platforms.

The Philippine Superstar’s headline “In spite of everything, Olympic Gold” mirrored the collective aid of Filipinos at successful their first gold medal after 97 years of Olympic festival.

Diaz’s win was once an inspiration for different ladies, stated Karen Afurong, an educational fashion designer in Manila.

“We really feel empowered,” the 29-year-old informed AFP.

Emelita stated the circle of relatives spoke with Diaz Tuesday morning and congratulated her.

“I informed her… ‘It is a large honour to our circle of relatives that you simply introduced every other honour to the rustic’,” Emelita informed AFP by way of phone.

Greater than 20 family, together with nieces and nephews, crowded onto the porch of the circle of relatives house to observe Diaz’s efficiency, the use of a smartphone attached to their tv.

“We had been fearful,” stated Emelita.

“They had been shouting ‘push, push, push’, get it, Haidie!’. They had been shouting and leaping for pleasure.”

Diaz has no longer noticed her circle of relatives since December 2019 and has spoken overtly of the sacrifices she has made in pursuit of her dream.

However after a sleepless night time, Diaz stated Tuesday she was once already serious about the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“Qualifying can be tricky, but when my energy is there I will be able to proceed,” she informed journalists on Zoom.

“I will not surrender after successful. I wish to proceed till anyone succeeds me.”