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Philippines' Hidilyn Diaz and USA's Lee Kiefer Grabs Gold at the Tokyo Olympics

Posted By: Danielle Domingo
Post Date: July 26, 2021

Filipinas are representing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a couple of the athletes taking home gold for Team Philippines and Team USA. For Team Philippines Hidilyn Diaz took home the gold in Weightlifting in the Women's 55kg even. Fil-Am Lee Kiefer took home gold for Team USA in Fencing in the Women's individual foil.

The 30-year-old Diaz defeated other competitors, including world record holder Liao Qiuyun of China. She set a new Olympic record of 224 kilograms (total) in the women’s 55 kilograms weightlifting event. The historic victory ended the country’s gold-medal drought since it first participated in the Olympics in 1924. The Philippines now has a total of 11 medals: one gold, three silvers, and seven bronze. 

Team USA's 27-year-old Lee Kiefer is a three-time Olympian, five-time NCAA champion, 10-time Pan American champion, nine-time individual Pan American champion and 2018 world champion. She will be competing in the team fencing events and won the gold the individual event in Tokyo. She became the first American woman to hold the No. 1 spot in the International Fencing Federation rankings in 2017.⠀

Also on the look out is Philippines' Nesthy Petecio who is guaranteed at least a bronze medal in the games in the women's boxing featherweight quarterfinal. She recently won a match with an unanimous decision over Columbia's Yeni Marcela Arias. Petecio becomes the first Filipino boxer to win an Olympic medal since Onyok Velasco's silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games! 

Here's a few more Filipina-Americans athletes slated to compete:

  • Paige McPherson (Taekwondo): She is one of 2 women representing Team USA. A native of Texas, McPherson was adopted along with four other siblings by Susan and Dave McPherson. She is of Filipino and African American descent and recently met her Filipina mother and half-siblings.
  • Bella Sims (Swimming): Arabella “Bella” Sims is from Henderson, Nevada. It's her first Olympic games as part of the 4x200m freestyle relay.⠀
  • Coryn Rivera (Cycling): Newport Beach, CA native Coryn Rivera, 28, enters her first Olympic games as a road cyclist for the U.S. cycling team. In her athletic career, she has earned 72 national championship titles across four disciplines: road, track, cyclocross and mountain bike.⠀
  • Emma Malabuyo (Gymnastics - alternate): Milpitas, CA native, Malabuyo almost quit the sport before making Team USA. With encouragement from her coach, Malabuyo pushed forward. The 18-year-old incoming gymnast for UCLA made it to the U.S. Championships in June where she scored the third-best on beam. It gave her a chance at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, where she was selected as an alternate for the official women’s gymnastics team.

Cover Photo Credit: Rappler Facebook

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