MANILA, Philippines -- When Hidilyn Diaz hoisted 127kg in her final lift in the Tokyo Olympics, she not only won a historic gold medal for the Philippines and set a Games record.
It was also a personal breakthrough for the Filipina weightlifter, who had never managed to successfully lift 127kg during her training.
"Nata-try ko na siya sa training," said Diaz of lifting 127kg in the clean and jerk. "Pero hindi ko nagagawa."
"Every time nata-try ko 'yun, 'di ko nagagawa. Nafu-frustrate ako, umiiyak ako," she admitted.
According to a New York Times report, Diaz had "maxed out" at 125kg in training. She lifted 124kg in her second attempt in the clean and jerk, keeping her ahead of her Chinese rival, Liao Qiuyun, in the race for the gold.
But Liao, who still holds the world record in the 55kg, lifted 126kg in her third and final attempt, leaving Diaz with no choice but to complete a lift that she has not been able to do during her long months of training for the Tokyo Games.
Diaz completed the clean but her knees wobbled as she went for the jerk. The Filipina would not be denied, however, as she successfully hoisted the weight, holding it for the required amount of time to ensure a good lift.
"Ito po 'yung first time ko na magbuhat ng 127," Diaz told reporters in a media conference, a day after her golden achievement.
"Hindi ko in-expect na mabuhat ko 'yun," she added. "Siguro, si God na 'yun and all the people who prayed."
Though she couldn't complete the lift in practice, Diaz was confident in the work she had put in, the time she dedicated to her sport, and the skills she has perfected over the years.
Thus, even if the lift was unexpected, there was no doubt in her mind when she stepped onto the platform for her third and final lift.
"Mentally, physically, emotionally prepared po ako," she said. "Kaya nagawa ko po 'yun."
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