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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Hidilyn Diaz's Tokyo triumph lifts Philippines out of COVID blues

First gold medalist beats better-funded rivals and outshines Duterte speech

Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines' first gold medalist, stands on the podium on July 26.   © Reuters

TOKYO/MANILA -- Every fourth Tuesday of July, the president's state of the nation address typically dominates newspaper headlines in the Philippines. But this morning, rather than focusing on the last such speech of strongman Rodrigo Duterte's presidency, the front pages featured a woman's historic achievement.

Hidilyn Diaz won the country's first-ever Olympic gold medal on Monday night, besting world champion Liao Qiuyun of China in the women's 55 kg weightlifting. The 30-year-old from southern Zamboanga set an Olympic record, hoisting a total of 224 kg, one more than Liao.

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