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Philippines wins its first Olympic gold medal

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz on Monday became the first athlete in Philippines history to win an Olympic gold medal, ending a nearly century-long drought NPR reported.

Diaz won her gold medal in the 55-kilogram category of women's weightlifting, setting a new Olympic record of lifting 224 kilograms successfully in two sets.

Diaz battled with previous gold medal winner China's Liao Qiuyun throughout the event, prevailing in the last lift, according to NPR.

Diaz, who used to serve in the Philippines' air force unit, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that she "sacrificed a lot" to get to this point, referring to quitting school just to focus on training. 

"I sacrificed a lot. I wasn't able to be with my mother and father for how many months and years and then of course, training was excruciating," Diaz told the Inquirer. "But God had a plan."

Diaz's victory comes as the Philippines' first gold medal win at an event since joining the Olympics in 1924. 

The 30-year-old weightlifter's win overshadowed President Rodrigo Duterte's final state of address, Rappler reported on Monday.

Diaz, who used to practice weightlifting by using plastic pipes that held concrete weights as a child, won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games, becoming the first woman to do so, NPR reported.

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