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Hidilyn Diaz set to return home after historic Tokyo Olympics feat

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 05:35 PM July 27, 2021
Philippines' Hidilyn Diaz (2nd L) reacts after placing first in the women's 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021.

Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz (2nd L) reacts after placing first in the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist, will be back home soon.

Diaz is set to arrive in Manila on Wednesday just two days after winning the gold medal in the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympics.

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“It’s mandatory,” Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

As per the protocols set by the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee, athletes, coaches, officials and even the media must depart Japan within 48 hours upon completion of their events or tasks.

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“But more important is that Hidilyn wants to be with her family who she hasn’t seen for more than one and a half years now,” Tolentino.

The 30-year-old Diaz, who set a couple of Olympic records during her golden performance, spent much of her Olympic buildup in Malaysia due to the pandemic.

If not for the pandemic, a festive hero’s welcome would’ve been laid out for the weightlifting queen from Zamboanga City, who won the silver in Rio 2016.

The Philippine Sports Commission, however, is preparing to welcome Diaz with the Inter-Agency Task Force’s health and safety protocols in mind.

Diaz and her team, which includes Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen and strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo, will have to undergo a seven-day hotel quarantine in compliance with the IATF guidelines.

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