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Hidilyn Diaz back in Manila after making history in Tokyo

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 7:22 p.m.) — Olympic weightlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and fellow athletes who had ended their bid at the Tokyo Olympics have returned home.

The group, aboard a Philippine Airlines flight, touched down at Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Wednesday at around 6 p.m.

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Diaz’ Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen and strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo were also on the flight.

TRACKER: Team Philippines at the Tokyo Olympics

Diaz who was wearing Team Philippines’ red polo upon arrival changed to her white Philippine Air Force uniform as she presented the gold medal to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

Lt. Gen. Allan Paredes, chief of the air force, then conferred Diaz her promotion from sergeant to staff sergeant at the NAIA VIP lounge.

Hidilyn Diaz receives her promotion from sergeant to staff sergeant of the Philippine Air Force upon her arrival at the Manila airport on July 28, 2021.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that Diaz, who had planned a low-key homecoming, will be given a virtual hero’s welcome as the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist.

Diaz will also have a courtesy call with President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night.

At the meeting, the Philippine Sports Commission is expected to present her with a gold medal of valor as part of the Expanded Athletes Incentives Act. Along with it will be the P10 million cash incentive for an Olympic gold medal.

The athletes will afterward head to their mandatory seven-day quarantine in a hotel.

The rest of Team Philippines is still in the running for medals in Tokyo. Boxer Nesthy Petecio, for one, has secured at least a bronze medal for the Philippines with a chance of punching her way to a silver or gold.

This is the first time Filipino athletes are taking home more than one Olympic medal since 1932.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 28, 2021 – 10:26am

Monitor major updates as we follow developments in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

July 28, 2021 – 10:26am

Nesthy Petecio is guaranteed to win a medal!

Upon defeating Colombia’s Yeni Arias Castaneda, boxer Nesthy Petecio is into the Tokyo Olympics Women’s Featherweight Semifinals and is guaranteed at least a bronze medal.

July 28, 2021 – 10:10am

Remedy Rule up next in the semifinals of the Women’s 200m Butterfly. Top 8 swimmers proceed to the finals.

July 27, 2021 – 8:03pm

Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles is replaced in the US team after starting Tuesday’s Olympic women’s team final.

The four-time gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Games produced a lacklustre opening vault and then briefly left the competition floor, before returning to join her teammates.

But the US team replaces her in the three concluding routines on the uneven bars, beam, and floor. — AFP

Confirmed: After one routine, Simone Biles ???????? will sit out the rest of the Women’s Team final in #ArtisticGymnastics at #Tokyo2020. #Olympics

— FIG (@gymnastics) July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021 – 2:54pm

Japanese star Naomi Osaka crashes out of the Olympics tennis competition after Flora Duffy delivered gold for Bermuda for the first time in the tiny island’s history.

Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron in last week’s opening ceremony, produced an error-strewn performance in losing 6-1, 6-4 to Marketa Vondrousova, ending her cherished dream of winning on home soil.

The 23-year-old — one of the faces of the Tokyo Games — had not played since May, when she walked out of the French Open saying media commitments were harming her mental health. — AFP

July 27, 2021 – 11:08am

Philippines’ Kiyomi Watanabe ends Olympic journey as she falls to Spain’s Cristina Cabana Perez in Women’s -63kg Judo.

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