Hidilyn Diaz emerged as the star of the show for Team Philippines yesterday when she finally bagged her first Southeast Asian Games gold with a dominant performance in women’s weightlifting.
Diaz, 28, a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics, lifted a total of 211kg in topping the women’s 55kg division before an animated crowd at the newly-renovated Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
Diaz added her breakthrough SEA Games gold to her growing collection of medals that also include gold in the Asian Games and a bronze in the world championship.
“Thank you for very much for the support,” Diaz told the television cameras going to the medal podium.
She competed in the 2007, 2011 and 2013 editions of the SEA Games and brought home two silver medals and a bronze. In the 2017 biennial meet, weightlifting was scrapped by host Malaysia.
The 28-year-old weightlifting icon is hoping to book another ticket in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in the upcoming qualifying tournaments.
Meanwhile, the Philippines 3x3 took home the two gold medals on the line in the Southeast Asian Games 3x3 tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City yesterday.
The Gilas Women first took the gold in the distaff side, beating Thailand in the final, 17-13.
Afril Bernardino came out firing as she led Gilas Women's game-turning 13-2 run to open a 10-point cushion, 16-6, before holding Thailand off down the stretch.
Bernardino finished with 11 points for Gilas Women, who avenged their 20-22 overtime loss to Thailand in the pool stage.
Jack Animam added three points, while Janine Pontejos chipped in 2 and Clare Castro came up with one point.
Warunee Kitraksa paced Thailand, which settled for the silver, with five points.
Malaysia captured the bronze after pummeling Vietnam, 21-7, in the battle for third.
In the men's final, CJ Perez waxed hot early on and Gilas Men trounced Indonesia, 21-9.
Perez scored the game's first four points, but Chris Newsome and Jason Perkins also connived to open an 18-6 Gilas Men that they never let go.
Perez finished with 10 markers, while Newsome and Perkins each added four, and Mo Tautuaa put up three, including the two-pointer that delivered the knockout for Gilas Men, who completed an 8-0 sweep of the entire men's tournament.
Itun Surliyadin led Indonesia, which settled for the silver, with three markers.
In the bronze medal match, Vietnam turned back Thailand, 21-17.*PNA
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