By Marjoe Toquillo

Hidilyn Diaz displayed a marvelous sight for the Philippines as she once again shone the brightest by snagging the gold medal of the Weightlifting Women’s 55kg category at the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, Friday.

PHOTO: Rappler

The lone Filipino Olympic gold medalist have fallen short on her snatch attempt against the silver medalist, Sanikun Tanasan of Thailand, but the weightlifting icon pulled off a spectacular shocker at the clean and jerk, garnering an overall lift of 206kg, three kilograms away from Tanasan.

Diaz had confronted a tough customer, 2016 Rio Olympics 48kg gold medalist Tanasan at the start of the competition as the latter showed her best to hoist a SEAG-record worthy lift of 93 kg and force Diaz into a slim disadvantage of a kilogram at the snatch event.

Still, a single attempt at the clean and jerk event was what Diaz needed to successfully hold her second SEAG gold medal.

In what seemed like a battle of Olympic champions, the Zamboanga native performed a 114-kg good lift to place herself on top of the scoreboard against Tanasan.

The thai weightlifter sought to recuperate on her third attempt in lifting 114kg, but barely managed to execute a good lift that plunged her into silver medal contention.

Tanasan had cleared 104kg and 110kg on her first and second attempts.

Diaz also tried to lift 118kg on her second attempt and 121kg on her third to challenge the SEAG record at clean and jerk, but the Filipina weightlifting belle fell short on performing good lifts on these.

Indonesia’s Natasya Beteyob clinched the bronze spot to complete the podium finishers after clearing 84kg in snatch and 104kg in clean and jerk, accumulating to a 188kg total lift.

The 42nd gold medal for the Philippines served as a great boost on the overall medal tally of the country as it fell to fifth place after the country’s slowed gold acquisition in the past two days.

Diaz’s golden performance also narrowed the overall medal-count lead as the Philippines found itself locked in a three-way affair against 3rd and 4th placers, Singapore and Indonesia.