Diaz bows out of weighlifting competition

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz got off to a promising start but was tragically eliminated following three failed lifts in the clean and jerk category of the women's 58kg division of the weightlifting competition at the 2012 London Olympics.

The 21-year-old started off strongly, clearing a lift of 97 kilograms in the snatch division to find herself running second in Group B behind Ecuador's Maria Alexandra Escobar Guerrero, who lifted 103 kilos.

Lifting second-to-the-last in the clean and jerk, Diaz needed only to clear 115 to overtake Great Britain's Zoe Smith, who had a total of 211, and keep hold of second spot. But the Zamboanga City native, who was the country's flag-bearer during last Saturday's opening ceremonies, went for a lift of 118 which would have given her a total of 215. Her personal best is 219.

On her first try, Diaz had barely started to lift when her knees buckled and she had to drop the barbell and was forced to fall backwards. She completed the clean phase on her second try, and looked well on her way to completing the jerk, but couldn't hold on and dropped the barbell again. With the crowd egging her on, Diaz tried one last time, but she was unable to make any sort of lift, and was eliminated.

After acknowledging the cheers of the crowd, Diaz left the stage in tears, her Olympic dream again coming to a less-than-ideal end.

As a 17-year-old, she had finished 11th out of 12 competitors in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but she had worked her way up the world rankings and arrived in London ranked ninth in her division, raising hopes of a much better performance this time around.

But even though she fell short, messages of support poured out for Diaz on Twitter, which hopefully helped ease the pain of her failed attempt.


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