Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz is hopeful that her fellow Filipino athletes can also secure medals in the Tokyo Olympics, after she won a breakthrough gold medal for the country.
The 30-year-old Diaz is the first Filipino to win a medal in the Summer Games, ruling the women's 55kg division in record-breaking fashion.
"I just want to say thank you sa support na binigay niyo po, sa prayers. 'Yun ang importante," said Diaz, whose combined lift of 224kg was a new personal best as well.
"Please always include us in your prayers, ang mga bata na maglalaro pa rin po," she added.
"Hopefully, mas marami pa tayong maiuwing medal, kasi ang gagaling ng mga batang kasama ko dito," Diaz said.
Shortly after Diaz posted the message on her Instagram stories, boxer Nesthy Petecio ensured that the Philippines will win a second medal when she triumphed over Colombia's Yeni Marcela Arias Castaneda in the women's featherweight division.
Petecio won via unanimous decision to advance to the semifinals and assure herself of at least a bronze medal. This is the first time since the 1932 Summer Games in Los Angeles that the Philippines will have multiple medals in an Olympics.
"Masaya ako sa mga achievement ng mga kasama ko," Diaz said. "Please always include us in your prayers."
Diaz is expected to return home to the Philippines today, as it is mandatory for Olympians to leave Japan within 48 hours after the conclusion of their event.
"Hidilyn wants to be with her family who she hasn't seen for more than one and a half years now," said Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino.
The Philippine Sports Commission is set to welcome Diaz back this afternoon, with IATF protocols in mind. Diaz and her team -- Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen and strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo -- will have to quarantine for seven days upon their arrival in the country.
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