MANILA, Philippines -- Hidilyn Diaz's triumph in the 30th Southeast Asian Games was special in more ways than one.
The Filipina weightlifter dominated the women's 55-kg division, lifting a combined 211-kg in the snatch and the clean-and-jerk to run away with the gold medal.
It was her first gold ever in the Southeast Asian Games, having previously won silver in 2011 and 2013. The triumph came in front of her countrymen, who packed the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Monday afternoon to watch the 4-foot-11 dynamo add another mint to the country's ever-growing pile.
And it was the first time that Diaz competed in front of her parents, Eduardo and Emelita, who joined the crowd in their ecstasy every time Diaz made a successful lift.
"Medyo doon ako kinakabahan, kasi alam ko ’yung nanay ko medyo nerbyosa pagdating sa akin," the 28-year-old weightlifter said.
"Masaya at excited din, pero may pressure," she added. "Buti na lang, nagawa ko."
"Napakalaking bagay na andito 'yung nanay at tatay ko."
Diaz is encouraged by the large audience that watched her at the stadium, several of whom rushed to the stage to take pictures with her after the awarding ceremony.
She is hopeful that these Filipinos will continue to support her as she continues her journey to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"Andito ang taong bayan, nanoood sila at nakita nila, ganito pala ka-intense ang weightlifting," said Diaz.
"At, hopefully, na-appreciate nila ang weightlifting, kasi pagdating sa Tokyo 2020, alam na nila kung paano ’yung labanan sa Tokyo.
"So please support weightlifting, at sana mas marami pang weightlifter ang makamtan ang Olympics."
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