Hidilyn Diaz turns cheerleader, urges Pinoy Olympians to 'continue the fight'
Hidilyn Diaz in a playful mood with long jump entry Marestella Torres. Jerome Ascano

RIO DE JANEIRO – The lady who just ended the Philippines’ 20-year Olympic medal drought rallied behind the rest of the Filipino athletes still in contention for the XXXI Olympiad here.

Silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting urged fellow Olympians who have yet to see action to give their best and make the country proud.

So far, six out of the 13-man Philippine team are already through with their respective events, with seven more still to battle it out with the world’s best in the final 11 days of the quadrennial meet.

Left to carry the fight for the Filipinos athletes are taekwondo jin Kirstie Alora, tracksters Eric Cray, Marestella Torres, and Mary Joy Tabal, golfer Miguel Tabuena, judoka Kodo Nakano, and swimmer Jasmine Alkhaldi.

“Don’t give up. Continue the fight and give your best,” said the 25-year-old Diaz of Zamboanga. “I hope we can still win here.”

[See Digong to Diaz: 'Saludo ako sa iyo']

Diaz made the call the day after Rogen Ladon was eliminated in the first round of the boxing competitions following a unanimous decision loss to Yurbejen Martinez of Colombia.

The 22-year-old Ladon was the country’s best bet for a first ever Olympic gold medal until suffering the heartbreaking loss Sunday (Monday night, Manila time) at the Riocentro Pavilion 2.

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