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Philippines celebrate first ever female medal winner in Rio

Europe
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Manila (dpa) - The Philippines celebrated its first ever female Olympic medal winner on Monday when weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won silver in Rio in the women‘s 53-kilogram category.

Diaz, 25, also became the first Filipino to win an Olympic medal in 20 years, when she lifted a total of 200 kilograms on Sunday.

"The inspiring story of Diaz is the story of Filipinos," said Philippines Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.

Diaz, the daughter of a rickshaw driver, took up weightlifting in 2002 after seeing her cousins lifting weights near her home in Zamboanga City, 875 kilometres south of Manila, an area marked by a decades-old Muslim insurgency.

It was Diaz‘ third time representing the Philippines at the Olympics, since competing at Beijing in 2008 when she was just 17 years old.

Diaz scored 88 points in the snatch and 112 in the clean and jerk, for a total of 200; 12 points short of gold medallist Hsu Shu-Ching of Chinese Taipei. South Korea‘s Yoon Jin Hee claimed bronze with 199 points.

The last time a Filipino athlete won an Olympic medal was in 1996, when boxer Mansueto Velasco won silver.

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