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Hidilyn Diaz beats fellow Olympic champ Sanikun Tanasan for SEA Games gold

Another year, another gold for Hidilyn Diaz. Reuters (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Just moments after the Philippines struck its first gold medal for Friday in the Southeast Asian Games, another championship went to the Filipinos.

Hidilyn Diaz secured the second Philippine gold medal for the day by ruling the women's 55-kilogram weightlifting event at the Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Centre.

Despite being the heavy favorite, Diaz, one year after giving the Philippines its first Olympic gold, escaped a big challenge from a fellow Olympic champ, Thailand's Sanikun Tanasan, to win it all.

Tanasan, who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics, posed 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 previously lifted 92, tried to steal the SEA Games record, but she failed to lift 94 kilograms.

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

Tanasan, who started at 104 and also cleared 110, missed out on matching Diaz's lift, essentially putting her at the silver medal spot.

Diaz still tried to get a share of SEA Games record glory, but she failed to lift 118 and 121 kilograms in her next two lifts and settled for 206 total kilograms against Tanasan's 203.

Diaz's victory came barely a half-hour after Blacklist International, representing Sibol, won the gold in the Mobile Legends event at the nearby Vietnam National Convention Center.

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

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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