Rio 2016: Hidilyn Diaz ends Philippine Olympic medal drought with weightlifting silver

 Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines celebrates on the podium after winning the silver medal in the women's 53kg category of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Weightlifting events at the Riocentro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 07 August 2016.  Phot via rappler.com/EPA/NIC BOTHMA

Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines celebrates on the podium after winning the silver medal in the women’s 53kg category of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Weightlifting events at the Riocentro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 07 August 2016. Phot via rappler.com/EPA/NIC BOTHMA

By Paolo Del Rosario/CNN Philippines – The Philippines has its first medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics after Hidilyn Diaz finished with a score of 200kg at the women’s 53kg category in weightlifting on Monday.

Diaz’ silver medal is the country’s first since Onyok Velasco’s triumph at the 1996 games in Atlanta.

Initially thought to be a two-horse race between Chinese-Taipei’s Hsu Shu-Ching and China’s Li Yajun, the rest of the field was seen to be competing for the bronze.

It looked that way after Hsu and Li took a commanding lead after the snatch portion of the competition with scores of 101kg and 100kg, respectively.

While Latvia’s Rebeka Kohn led the rest of the pack with a score of 90kg.

In the clean and jerk portion, Diaz cleared 111kg on her first attempt, forcing Korea’s Yoon Jin Hee to successfully manage at least 111kg of her own.

Yoon scored 111kg on her third attempt, but the Filipina chalked up 112kg on her second attempt to secure at least a bronze medal for the country.

The Chinese-Taipei national logged in 112kg on the scoreboard with her first lift, placing her in pole position to notch the gold.

China’s Li attempted to lift 123kg on her first attempt, but failed due to a hyperextended left elbow. The failure proved to be the pivotal moment of the competition as Li could not complete any of her attempts in the clean and jerk portion.

Li’s inability to successfully lift 123kg once pushed Diaz up the podium to a silver medal finish, while Korea’s Yoon ended up with the bronze.

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