Philippines wraps up most successful Olympics campaign with four medals including glorious weightlifting gold

That unforgettable moment... Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines celebrates with the gold medal after medal presentation ceremony at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. - Reuters

MANILA, Aug 7 (Philippines Daily Inquirer/ANN): Boxer Carlo Paalam’s medal in the men’s flyweight division capped off the Philippines’ best campaign in the Olympics as the country secured four medals in the Tokyo Summer Games.

The Philippines’ haul of one gold, two silvers, and one bronze is the country’s best output in Olympic history, surpassing the three-bronze record set in the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

Hidilyn Diaz, of course, highlighted the whole Tokyo journey as she captured the nation’s first gold medal when she triumphed in the women’s 55-kilogramme weightlifting competition.

Paalam and teammate Nesthy Petecio’s silver medals were also the most runner-up finishes for the Philippines in the Olympics.

Along with Eumir Marcial’s bronze in the men’s middleweight, this year’s crop of national team boxers also became the most successful group in the country’s Olympic history.

Filipino boxers now own eight of the Philippines’ 14 medals in the Summer Games.

Diaz’s golden lift broke the Philippines’ 97-year quest for a gold medal with the country coming so close on three occasions.

Anthony Villanueva lost to the Soviet Union’s Stanislav Stepashkin via split decision in the men’s featherweight division in the boxing competition of the 1964 Olympics, coincidentally held in Tokyo.

Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco then had the same fate as Villaneuva when he settled for the silver in the men’s light flyweight division against Daniel Petrov of Bulgaria.

Interestingly the last time the Philippines won a silver prior to Tokyo was Diaz’s runner-up finish in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics was also where Philippines sent its biggest Olympic delegation since the 2000 Sydney games with some members of the contingent reaching the finals of their respective sports.

Gymnast Carlos Yulo (4th in men’s vault), skateboarder Margielyn Didal (7th women’s street), and pole vaulter EJ Obiena (11th in men’s pole vault) all got to the medal rounds.

Other athletes included weightlifter Elreen Ando (7th in women’s 64kg), golfers Yuka Saso (9th in women’s golf), Bianca Pagdanganan (43rd in women’s golf), Juvic Pagunsan (55th in men’s golf), swimmers Remedy Rule and Luke Gebbie, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, boxer Irish Magno (round-of-16), judoka Kiyomi Watanabe, shooter Jayson Valdez (44th in men’s 10m air rifle), sprinter Kristina Knott, and rower Cris Nievarez (23rd in men’s single sculls). - Philippines Daily Inquirer/ANN

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