Hidilyn Diaz

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Hidilyn Diaz
Hidilyn Diaz 2016.jpg
Diaz with her Olympic silver medal in 2016
Personal information
Born (1991-02-20) 20 February 1991 (age 27)
Zamboanga City, Philippines
Height1.49 m (4 ft 11 in)
Weight53 kg (117 lb)
Military career
Allegiance Philippines
Service/branchSeal of the Philippine Air Force.svg Philippine Air Force
Years of service2013–present
RankPAF SGT SL.svg Sergeant[1]
UnitAir Force Special Service Group, PAF Personnel Management Center, 710th Special Operations Wing
AwardsPHL Military Merit Medal.gifMilitary Merit Medal
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svgPresidential Citation Unit Badge
Coached byAntonio Agustin Jr
Alfonsito Aldanete
Allen Jayfrus Diaz
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)223 kg

Hidilyn Francisco Diaz[2][3] (born 20 February 1991[4]) is a Filipino weightlifter and airwoman. She competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics where she was the youngest competitor in the women's 58-kg category.[5] She was a bronze medalist in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand and achieved 10th place at the 2006 Asian Games in the 53-kilogram class. And while a student of the Universidad de Zamboanga representing her university, she won two golds and one silver in the Asian Youth/Junior Weightlifting Championship held in Jeonju, South Korea.[6][7][8]

In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Diaz won the silver medal in the women's 53-kg weight division, ending the Philippines' 20-year Olympic medal drought. She is also the first Filipino woman to win an Olympic medal of any color.

Early life and education[edit]

Hidilyn Diaz is the fifth of six children of Eduardo and Emelita Diaz. Her cousin, Allen Jayfrus Diaz, taught her the basics of weightlifting.[9]

She attended the Universidad de Zamboanga where she pursued a bachelor's degree in computer science. However, Diaz stopped attending the university as a third year irregular student as she found her degree unsuitable for her. She also claimed that it distracted her training. After her stint in the 2016 Olympics, Diaz decided to continue her tertiary education and intended to pursue a degree related to sports in Manila.[10]

In January 2017, Diaz received a scholarship to study business management at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.[11]

Competitive career[edit]

2008 Summer Olympics[edit]

Diaz was selected as a wild card entry to the Summer Olympics by the Philippine Weightlifting Association in early 2008.[12] She is the first female weightlifter to compete for the Philippines in the Olympics, and the second weightlifter overall (the first being her coach, Ramon Solis).[13] Competing in the women's 58-kg class, 17-year-old Diaz lifted 85-kg in the snatch and 107-kg in the clean and jerk for a 192-kg total, breaking the Philippine record that she herself set at the 2007 Southeast Asian Games.[14] Although she placed second to last in a field of 12 weightlifters, her performance was praised and considered promising for her age. Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez once commented that she competed there to gain valuable experience and predicted that she would be a strong contender in future competitions.[15]

2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

Diaz became the first Filipina weightlifter to compete in consecutive Olympics, by qualifying in the women's weightlifting under 58 kg through the Continental and World Qualifying Tournaments. She was ranked ninth in her event heading to the Olympics. During the 2012 London Olympics, Diaz was chosen to be the flagbearer during the Opening Ceremony.[16][17][18]

She was coached by Tony Agustin, and they projected a 225 kg lift, above her personal best of 219 kg.[19] She successfully lifted a personal best of 97 kg in the snatch, 12th best among the 19 competitors. However her 118 kg Clean and Jerk was unsuccessful after three attempts. She is one of two competitors (along with Lina Rivas of Colombia) to end with an official result of "Did not finish" (DNF) in the event.[20]

2015–16 season[edit]

Hidilyn Diaz weighed around 56.28 kg during her first Olympic campaign, making her the lightest among competitors. Come 2012 Olympics, Hidilyn Diaz increased her weight to 57.70 kg but still struggled making it to the top half of the competition. Trying to improve her chances of landing a podium finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Diaz decided to drop weight from under 58 kg to under 53 kg. This proved to be effective as she recently snatched the Gold Medal in the 1st Southeast Asian Weightlifting Championship in Bangkok.[21] She managed to lift a 98 kg snatch and a 115 kg clean and jerk for a 213 kg total. The same mark is good for 4th place in the 2012 London Olympics.

Diaz also earned three bronze medals for the clean, jerk and snatch events in the 53 kg division of the IWF World Weightlifting Championship held in Houston, Texas on November 22, 2015 to claim a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics.[22][23][24]

On March 2016, Diaz dominated the women's 58 kg event of the 2015-16 Philippine National Games National Finals held at Lingayen Town Plaza, Lingayen, Pangasinan, with a 92 kg snatch and 120 kg clean and jerk (new personal best) combined into 212 kg.[25]

2016 Summer Olympics[edit]

In the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Diaz competed in the women's 53kg weightlifting category with the intention of at least winning a bronze medal.[26] Diaz surpassed her own personal target and won the silver medal at the event, after successfully clinching a lift of 88 kg in her second attempt in snatch event (placed 6th) and 111 kg and 112 kg in the first and second attempts in the clean and jerk event (placed 2nd).[27] This was the first medal for the Philippines in the Summer Olympics after 20 years. This was also the first non-boxing medal for the nation since 1936. Aside from being the first Filipina weightlifter to compete in three consecutive Olympics, she also became the first Filipino woman and first Mindanaoan to win an Olympic medal.

On August 8, 2016, she returned to her hometown, Zamboanga City and was welcomed as a Hero of the City,[28] She also received numerous incentives from the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine Sports Commission and her local city.[29]

2018 Asian Games[edit]

Diaz participated in the Women's 53 kilogram (kg) weightlifting event in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Diaz had a total lift of 207kg, beating Turkmenistan’s Kristina Shermetova(206kg) and Thailand’s Surodchana Khambao (201kg) to deliver the Philippines' first gold in the 2018 games.[30][31]

Military career[edit]

Diaz was recruited into the Philippine Air Force (PAF) through the military arm's Direct Enlistment Program in 2013. She was initially assigned to the Air Force Special Service Group. She was also given an Air Force Specialty Code skill in recreation in weightlifting. In 2014, she was given a promotion from the rank of Airwoman to Airwoman Second Class. Diaz was also a recipient of a Military Merit Medal for organizing PAF events and a Presidential Citation Unit Badge. When Diaz was training for her stint at the 2016 Summer Olympics, she was assigned to PAF Personnel Management Center on a temporary basis. For her achievement at the Olympics, she was given a promotion by the PAF. The extent of the promotion was initially not disclosed [32] but it was later reported that Diaz was promoted to the rank of Airwoman First Class.[1] Following Diaz's stint in the 2018 Asian Games, she was promoted to Airwoman Sergeant.

In popular media[edit]

Diaz' life was portrayed in an episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya, a drama anthology series, on September 24, 2016. She was portrayed by Jane Oineza.[33]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

On February 13, 2017, Diaz was awarded as the Athlete of the Year of the Philippine Sportswriters Association.[34]


  1. ^ a b "Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz receives Airforce rank promotion". GMA News. August 18, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  2. ^ DIAZ Hidilyn. 2008 Beijing Olympics.
  3. ^ "Air Force Weightlifter Nabs Silver In Rio 2016, First Pinay Olympic Medalist In 20 Years". Philippine Air Force. August 8, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "DIAZ, Hidilyn". Rio 2016. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  5. ^ "15 Filipinos battle odds, Olympic gold ‘curse’" Archived August 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Inquirer.net, August 9, 2008
  6. ^ City commends Zamboangueño weightlifters. Zamboanga.gov.ph (December 15, 2008). Retrieved on 2016-06-28.
  7. ^ Hidilyn Diaz. nbcolympics.com
  8. ^ Bracher, Jane (9 August 2016). "Meet Alfonsito Aldanete, the weightlifting coach who helped Diaz win silver". Rappler. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  9. ^ Pareño, Roel (9 August 2016). "Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz: From homemade barbell to Rio silver". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  10. ^ Saberon-Abalayan, Marianne (11 August 2016). "Diaz to pursue college after Rio". Sun Star Davao. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  11. ^ Villanueva, Kristina (12 January 2017). "Benilde gives Hidilyn big lift to chase dream". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  12. ^ Hidilyn Diaz lifts self to Olympic heights, Manila Standard Today
  13. ^ Love can wait for Hidilyn, Manila Standard Today (August 11, 2008)
  14. ^ Diaz falters; Walsh up next, Manila Standard Today
  15. ^ Diaz, Walsh start bid today, Manila Standard Today (August 11, 2008)
  16. ^ Bolante, Mikkel (July 30, 2012) Filipino flag-bearer Hidilyn Diaz begins Olympic weightlifting campaign Archived July 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., Interaksyon
  17. ^ Hidilyn Diaz Archived March 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. sports-reference.com
  18. ^ Philippines Archived August 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. sports-reference.com
  19. ^ "Hidilyn tries to do better". manilastandardtoday.com. Manila Standard Today. July 30, 2012. Archived from the original on August 1, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  20. ^ Olivares, Rick (July 21, 2016). "Could third Olympics be the charm for Hidilyn Diaz?". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  21. ^ Reuben Terrado (June 27, 2015). "Hidilyn Diaz makes up for SEA Games absence by bagging gold in 1st Southeast Asian Weightlifting Championship". Spin PH. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
  22. ^ "Filipina Hidilyn Diaz wins 3 bronzes at World Weightlifting Championship". Rappler. November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  23. ^ "PH lifter Hidilyn Diaz books ticket to Rio Olympics". Philippine Daily Inquirer. December 28, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  24. ^ "Continental Qualification current standing". International Weightlifting Federation. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Teodosio nagtala ng juniors record sa Philippine National Games" (in Tagalog). Bandera. March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  26. ^ "Hidilyn Diaz hoped for Olympic bronze, feels blessed by silver". Rappler. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  27. ^ Bracher, Jane (August 8, 2016). "Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz nabs silver, PH's first Olympic medal in 20 years". Rappler. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  28. ^ Diaz accorded a hero's welcome in Zamboanga City | ABS-CBN News. News.abs-cbn.com (2016-08-12). Retrieved on 2016-09-02.
  29. ^ Hidilyn Diaz to receive P5-M, other benefits for winning silver in Rio Olympics | InterAksyon.com | Sports5 Archived August 12, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. InterAksyon.com (2016-08-08). Retrieved on 2016-09-02.
  30. ^ http://sports.inquirer.net/316009/weightlifting-hidilyn-diaz-wins-philippines-first-gold-medal-in-2018-asian-games/amp
  31. ^ http://cnnphilippines.com/sports/2018/08/21/Hidilyn-Diaz-first-gold-Philippines-2018-Asian-Games-weightlifting.html
  32. ^ Santos, Rudy; Sy, Marvin; Mendez, Christina (10 August 2016). "Olympian Hidilyn to be promoted in PAF". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  33. ^ "Olympic heroine Hidilyn Diaz's life story featured on TV drama 'Maalaala Mo Kaya'". Sports Interactive Network Philippines. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  34. ^ "Rio Olympic feat gives Hidilyn PSA top award". The Philippine Star. January 20, 2017. Retrieved January 20, 2017.
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Manny Pacquiao
Flagbearer for  Philippines
London 2012
Succeeded by
Michael Christian Martinez