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Gold medallist Philippines' Hidilyn Diaz stands on the podium for the victory ceremony of the women's 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo Games. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Olympian Hidilyn Diaz on Monday became the first athlete to ever win a gold medal for the Philippines after besting the competition in her women's weightlifting weight class, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: In the 97 years since the Philippines first entered the Olympics in 1924, the country had not won a gold medal at the Games until Diaz's multi-record breaking lift, per ESPN.

The big picture: Diaz lifted a record-breaking 127 kg (280 lbs) in the clean and jerk event, beating even her training session lifts, which had maxed out at 125 kg (275.6 lbs), she told the Times.

  • The total of her two lifts, in the clean and jerk and snatch, also broke another world record, per the Times.
  • Diaz won the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games, when China's Liao Qiuyun took home the gold. On Monday the latter took home silver to Diaz's gold, per Reuters.

What they're saying: “It’s unbelievable,” Diaz told the Times. “I expected to win, but when you hold this already, it’s like, Wow, I never thought this would happen today.”

  • “I am 30 years old and I thought it would be like going down, my performance, but I was shocked I was able to do it,” Diaz said, per Reuters.
  • The Philippines’ presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, tweeted congratulations, adding, "The entire Filipino nation is proud of you,”

Go deeper

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Oct 5, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Des Moines business owners frustrated with festival interruptions

Ritual Cafe closed early on Saturday because of CelebrAsian. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

Des Moines' festival season invites thousands to converge downtown and enjoy all the bright spots our city has to offer.

  • But the subsequent road closures spell more harm than good for some local businesses.

What they're saying: Ritual Cafe Owner Denise Diaz estimates she loses 50% of her weekend revenue when a festival closes her street — 13th between Grand Ave. and Locust Street.

  • This last year was especially frustrating, Diaz told Linh. Her shop is struggling because most workers still haven't returned to nearby office buildings.

Of note: Ritual Cafe opened in 2005, before the sculpture park or Western Gateway Park were around.

The solution: City leaders previously told Axios they're hoping a new plaza could reduce street closures.

But until then, Diaz said she just wants festivals to include her in some way — whether it's buying coffee for volunteers or encouraging attendees to stop by.

  • "Don't ignore us," Diaz said.
Updated 59 mins ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

American officials and authorities in Haiti are working to try and free 17 hostages from a U.S.-based missionary group who were kidnapped in Port-au-Prince over the weekend, AP reported Monday.

The latest: Christian Aid Ministries said in a statement Sunday, "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children." The Ohio-based organization said they were on a trip to visit an orphanage when they were kidnapped Saturday.

China's economic growth slows

A worker assembles heavy truck engines in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: Long We/Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

China's economy grew 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with a year earlier, the country's National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday.

Why it matters: The gross domestic product growth in the July-September period in the world’s second-largest economy marked the "weakest pace since the third quarter of 2020 and slowing from 7.9% in the second quarter," Reuters notes.

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