What a way to start this series talking about the awesome things Asians from Asia have achieved in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics! This first piece will focus on the Philippines, and what an Olympics it has been for them.
Four time Olympian, Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the first ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines. (via Nextshark)
- On Monday July 26, in the 55kg weight division for weightlifting, Diaz made a total combined lift of 224kgs – an Olympic record; (via CBS News)
- She broke a drought of around 97 years since the Philippines won an Olympic gold medal;
- She beat China’s Liao Qiuyun, in her final lift in the clean and jerk by lifting 1kg more than Liao did. ( via Olympics website)
- At 30 years of age, she is now a national hero, with the Philippines Government promising her millions of Philippines dollars in cash, private companies for her ownership, a few houses and condominiums, free lifetime flights from AirAsia and Philippines Airlines, a beauty package worth 6 figures in Philippines dollars, free lifetime gas, a vehicle, free meals at certain restaurants, free lifetime services like tattoos and oil changes, and the BEST of all for us Asians, free lifetime supply of milk tea! ( Specific details from Rappler).
- Diaz came from nothing, and to make her Olympic dream come true was forced to seek financial help.
At a post match interview (via CBS News) she spoke about her victory:
“I am 30 years old and I thought it would be like going down, my performance, but I was shocked I was able to do it,”
Nesthy Petecio wins silver in the Gold Medal match for the women’s featherweight boxing against Japanese opponent Sena Irie. Irie won the gold for Japan after outpointing Petecio (5-0) .
- This medal earned by Petecio is Philippines first medal in boxing since Anthony Villanueva and Onyok Velasco nabbed one silver each in the 1964 and 1996 Summer Games in Tokyo and Atlanta, USA respectively. (via Nextshark)
- She has been promised millions of dollars in cash when she returns home as well as other rewards.
At a post match interview , Petecio spoke about her victory (via Inquirer):
“It means a lot to me because I dedicate this fight for my family, country and my best friend who died. I dedicate this medal to my coaches, esp Nolito Velasco. He sacrificed a lot for this competition. This is an important tournament, not for me but my country and coaches.”
Finally, boxer Carlo Palaam is guaranteed a medal after ousting Olympic and world champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the men’s flyweight quarterfinal (via CNN). What colour that is, well we will keep an eye out for it, but what an Olympics it has been for the Philippines!
BEST OF LUCK!
Images via Olympics site, and Twitter