Hidilyn Diaz defeats fellow Olympic champion Sanikun Tanasan for SEA Games gold

Another year, another gold medal for Hidilyn Diaz. Reuters (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA — Moments after the Philippines clinched their first gold medal Friday at the Southeast Asian Games, another championship went to the Filipinos.

Hidilyn Diaz earned the second Philippine gold medal of the day by leading the women’s 55kg weightlifting event at the Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Center.

Despite being the heavy favorite, Diaz, a year after giving the Philippines its first Olympic gold medal, escaped a big challenge from fellow Olympic champion, Thailand’s Sanikun Tanasan, to take it all.

Tanasan, who won gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, issued an early challenge to Diaz by taking the lead in the snatch.

Tanasan set a new SEA Games record by lifting 93 kilograms in the snatch.

Diaz, who had previously lifted 92, attempted to steal the SEA Games record, but she failed to lift 94 kilograms.

The deciding factor came in the clean and jerk when Diaz, on his first lift in the said discipline, easily lifted 114 kilograms.

Tanasan, who started at 104 and also cleared 110, missed Diaz’s lift, essentially putting her in the silver medal spot.

Diaz has always been trying to get a share of the SEA Games record glory, but she failed to lift 118 and 121 kilograms on her next two lifts and settled for 206 kilograms in total against the 203 of Tansan.

Diaz’s win came just half an hour after Blacklist International, representing Sibol, won the gold medal at the Mobile Legends event at the nearby Vietnam National Convention Center.

Natasya Beteyob of Indonesia won the bronze medal lifting a total of 188 kilograms.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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