A reigning Olympic champion, Hidilyn Diaz defends her title in the women’s 55kg diversion in this year’s 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi. The Games initially scheduled for 2021 in Hanoi was postponed to 2022 due to the pandemic. With this win, she helps narrow the gap for the Philippines against Singapore and Indonesia for the third spot.
It’s been 10 months since Hidilyn last stepped out for an international competition and only a few months after she battled with COVID-19 earlier this year. According to her coach, they tried a new training regiment and adopted sports science to help with her nutrition. The hard work paid off again as she won gold again Thai Sanikun Tanasan, keeping the gold streak alive and gets her one step closer to the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics.
Cover Photo Credit: Hidilyn Diaz Instagram
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:
Cover Photo Credit: Rappler Facebook