• Jonathan Shiek

Adham Baba Tried To Claim Credit For Philippines’ Olympic Gold Medal, But Malaysians Disagree

Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz is making headlines back home after she managed to win Philippines first ever Olympic gold medal in the 55kg women’s weightlifting event. But in Malaysia, Diaz is making different headlines after the Ministry of Health claimed that health minister Dr Adham Baba was one of those who contributed to Diaz’s success.

According to Malay Mail, Diaz moved to KL in February 2020 and started her training in Malaysia, but the pandemic quickly made things difficult as gyms were forced to close. However, Diaz was able to improvise her training using bamboo sticks and heavy bottles.

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A post shared by Hidilyn Diaz OLY (@hidilyndiaz)

Diaz was able to continue training at a gym for a while after she moved to Jasin, Melaka in October 2020, but the tighter restrictions quickly made that impossible and eventually, Diaz settled with training at a makeshift gym in the backyard of the kampung house she was living in.

But Diaz’s training in Malaysia was not what Adham Baba tried to take credit for. Apparently, the High Commissioner of Philippines to Malaysia had reached out to the health minister requesting his help to give approvals for Diaz and her coaches to get vaccinated in time for the Tokyo Games.

Credits: Hidilyn Diaz (Instagram)

“Dr Adham is the person responsible for helping Hidi receive the AstraZeneca vaccine injection needed to qualify Hidi and her team to leave for Tokyo, Japan,” said a statement from the health minister’s office.

While Malaysians typically take pride in our countrymen’s success, many netizens disagree that Philippines should thank Malaysia for helping Diaz because her achievement is the result of her own effort.

"The Philippines must thank Malaysia"? No please. Stop "over-claiming". Hidilyn Diaz worked hard and sacrificied so much for the gold medal in Tokyo 2020. She earned it, our friends in the Philippines deserve that glory from Diaz. — Norman Goh (@imnormgoh) July 28, 2021

Although Malaysia played a part in getting Diaz to the Olympics, her victory would never be possible without her years of training and hard work, which only Diaz herself and her team of coaches can take credit for.

It’s always nice to celebrate other’s achievements. But as Malaysians, we need to stop hijacking other people’s success and start celebrating our own, especially since we have plenty to celebrate for.


#adhambaba #hidilyndiaz #olympics #Philippines

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