Hidilyn not yet done winning | Inquirer Sports

Hidilyn not yet done winning

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 03:41 AM September 10, 2016

BANGKOK—After weightlifting boosted Southeast Asia’s record run in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz sees the sport finally getting the support and attention it needs.

It’s one reason Diaz, who bagged a silver in the 53-kilogram weightlifting class to become the country’s first female Olympic medalist, had ditched initial plans to retire.

“I’m happy because our sport is now getting recognized in Southeast Asia,” said Diaz.


Southeast Asia delivered a record haul of 18 gold medals—five golds, 10 silvers and three bronzes—in an impressive turnaround after the region got shut out of a golden win in the 2012 London Olympics.


Weightlifting propped up the region’s campaign with two golds, four silvers and a bronze.

So Diaz and Philippine Weightlifting Association vice president Elbert Atilano intend to take advantage of the growing interest in the sport.

“She’s our inspiration now, especially to our youth and junior athletes,” said Atilano.

And as Diaz and the region’s medalists continue to reap rewards, they’re also motivated to sustain Southeast Asia’s renewed sporting strength.

“We’re an incredible group of people,” said AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes during the airline’s toast to Southeast Asian Olympic medalists last Thursday.

“Too often, sports is overlooked in the Asean but their achievements show we can be the world’s best when we set our minds to it, together with the right support and infrastructure.”

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TAGS: 2016 Rio Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz, Weightlifting

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