A weightlifter from Philippines and a shooter from Iran, associated with political skirmishes in their respective countries, won Olympic golds in their specialised sporting events.
The former, Hidilyn Diaz, was on the list of those accused of plotting against the country’s head. The latter, Jawad Fouroughi, was bluntly termed as a terrorist for his nursing job in Syria, in 2013-2015.
Foroughi was also criticised for delivering a military salute on the podium.
“We will carve Hidilyn Diaz’ name in the Philippines’ history,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, during a media briefing, following its first gold medal at the Olympics since 1924.
This is the enormous achievement of Hidilyn Diaz, in the female category 55-kg event of weightlifting. The 30-year-old Filipino, who was once facing dire accusations for allegedly scheming against president Rodriguez Dutrete, has now made history.
This is how life changes, as she also then feared for her life back then. She now gets accolades and acclaims where she was once abhorred. She is a four-time Olympian and had won a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Upsetting the world record in the women’s 55 kg weightlifting category she also set Olympic records with her winning lift of 127 kg in the clean and jerk, and a total of 224 kg.
She became the first Filipina athlete to win double Olympic medals after her 2016 Rio Olympic silver medal conquest.
She said: “I would like to say to all Filipinos, nothing is impossible.”
“How can a terrorist win first place? That is an absurd thing,” said six-time Olympic medalist and Korean marksman, Jin Jong-oh. He accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for letting 41-year-old Iranian Jawad Fouroughi participate.
Foroughi works as a nurse in a hospital run by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He won a gold medal in the 10-metre air pistol event at the Tokyo Olympics.
In an interview before the games, he pointed out how was he able to score nearly 85 points from a volley of 10 shots.
Writing about his finishing performance, an Iranian newspaper Javan wrote: “His feat is an unexpected medal… won by a guards nurse who is at the same time a defender of health and the shrine.”
Some are demanding a suspension of his medal until a probe is not completed. I believe that it was a nonsensical move to allow him to compete.