Get to know the Philippines’ golden girls in the 2018 Asian Games

August 31, 2018 - 2:34 PM
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Weighlifting gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz after winning the Philippines' first gold. (The STAR/Joey Mendoza)

Female athletes are raking in the medals for Team Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games with four gold medals, one silver and five bronze so far.

Hidilyn Diaz’ medal-winning lift. (REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)

Hidilyn Diaz bagged the first gold for the Philippines after she lifted a total of 207 kilograms to rule the women’s 53-kg event.

She was rewarded with cash prizes, an air force promotion, a motorcade and two medals from the government upon her return to the Philippines.

The 27-year old from Zamboanga first made headlines when she won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She has dedicated her winnings to helping out aspiring weightlifters achieve their dreams.

The bulk of the Philippines’ medal tally came from the Filipina golfers. The trio of Bianca Pagdanganan, Lois Kaye Go and Yuka Saso prevailed in the team golf competition.

Saso is the Philippines’ first multi-medal winner so far, having also dominated the individual tournament by edging Japan’s Ayaka Furue in a one-shot playoff after the two finished with both 279 earlier.

The trio are already seasoned competitors despite their young age. Pagdanganan and Go play in the National Collegiate Athletics Association of the United States while the 17-year old Saso has been competing internationally since 2014.

Margielyn Didal of the Philippines embraces Kaya Isa of Japan. (REUTERS/Edgar Su)

19-year old Margielyn Didal on Wednesday became the first gold medalist in the history of women’s skateboarding in the Asian Games.

The Cebu native dominated her competition with 30.4 points in the women’s park event to bring home the Philippines’ fourth gold.

Once denied entry into a mall for bringing a skateboard along and chased by police for skating around public places, Didal has become a rising star in skateboarding, having also competed in the prestigious X Games and Street League championships earlier in 2018.

The Philippines’ first silver medal was delivered by judoka Kiyomi Watanabe.

Watanabe was overpowered by Japan’s Nami Nabekura 10-0 in the women’s 63-kilogram final round on Thursday afternoon.

Filipinas have also contributed to the bronze medal tally, with medals from Cherry May Regalado (pencak silat) , Agatha Wong and Divine Wally (wushu), Margarita Ochoa (jiu-jitsu) and Tsukii Juuna (karate).

The Filipinas’ medal haul has inspired fans, officials and experts alike.

The Philippines has been propelled to a more satisfying medal tally compared to the 2014 Asiad thus far thanks to the Filipinas’ achievements.

The country’s lone gold medal in 2014 came from cyclist Daniel Caluag in the men’s BMX race. Its three silver medals also came from male competitors.

The Philippines is ranked 17th out of 37 competing nations from four gold, one silver and 13 bronze for a total of 18 medals as of this writing.

It finished 22nd overall in 2014.