Weightlifter Diaz gets 1st Philippines gold, no China sweep

Jul 25, 2021, 9:07 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2021, 9:54 am

TOKYO (AP) — Hidilyn Diaz became the first Olympic gold medalist from the Philippines on Monday, winning the women’s 55-kilogram category to stop China’s bid for a perfect Tokyo Games in weightlifting.

At her fourth Olympic Games, Diaz overtook Liao Qiuyun of China on her last lift in the clean and jerk to win with a total 224 kilograms. That was one more than Liao.

The Philippines has competed at every edition of the Summer Olympics since 1924 — except for a boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980 — with three silver and seven bronze medals before Diaz’s win. She previously won a silver medal in 2016, which was at the time her country’s first appearance on an Olympic podium for 20 years.

China had won all three events so far in the weightlifting competition and was hoping to sweep the gold medals in the eight competitions its athletes have entered. No country can enter more than four men’s and four women’s events. Liao came into the competition as the world record holder with a total 227kg.

Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan took bronze with 213kg. Chinshanlo won what was then the 53-kilogram class at the 2012 London Olympics but was stripped of her gold medal after a positive test for two banned steroids found when her sample was retested in 2016.

Uzbekistan’s Muattar Nabieva led the competition with a snatch lift of 98kg but was 9kg behind Chinshanlo on the clean and jerk and placed fourth, missing the podium by one kilogram.

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