Monday, July 15, 2024

3 Philippine Lifters Qualify For Paris Olympics


3 Philippine Lifters Qualify For Paris Olympics


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Cebuano Elreen Ann Ando earned a return trip to the Olympics after finishing seventh in the women’s 59 kg category of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup in Phuket, Thailand on Wednesday night.

Ando, winner of two silvers at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Uzbekistan last February, registered 228 kgs (100 kg in snatch and 128 kg in clean and jerk) to beat compatriot Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo, who was 11th with 222 (99-123).

Ando’s performance put her at No. 8 in the world rankings. Only the Top 10 lifters will get a quota place for their respective country and bodyweight category through the IWF Olympic Qualification Ranking tournaments from August 1, 2022 to April 28, 2024.

Diaz-Naranjo was the country’s first Olympic champion after winning at 55 kg in Tokyo.

“I love this sport. I don’t want to stop. But what I have to do now is take a good rest and think about the priorities in my life. Today wasn’t my day, Paris was not to be,” Naranjo-Diaz was quoted as saying in a news article on IWF’s website.

“But overall, I’m happy. I’ve given a lot to this sport and it’s given a lot to me,” she added.

Fellow Cebuano John Febuar Ceniza (M61kg) and Zamboanga City’s Rosegie Ramos (W49kg) also qualified for Paris.

Ceniza is at No. 4 with a total of 300 (132-168), behind Chinese Li Fabin with 312 (146-166), Korean Pak Myong Jin with 306 (134-172) and American Hampton Miller Morris with 303 (127-176).

The 25-year-old Filipino got the silver medal at the 2023 World Grand Prix II in Qatar where he tallied 298 despite finishing fourth in snatch (133) and fifth in the clean and jerk (165).

Ramos, on the other hand, is ninth in the rankings. She registered a total of 190 (88-102) at the Asian Championships.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Sarno of Bohol and Kristel Macrohon of Zamboanga City are scheduled to compete in the women’s 71 kg category on Sunday.

Sarno is currently ranked No. 12. She has a total lift of 228 (100-128) during the Asian Championships.

At the SEA Games, Sarno won the gold medal in Vietnam (2022) and Cambodia (2023) while Macrohon triumphed in Manila (2019).

Sarno also won two medals at the Asian Championships — a gold in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (2020) and a silver in Jinju, South Korea (2023).

“In God’s grace, we shall now have 3 or possibly 4 weightlifters in Paris. More than 20 years ago, we started with one, then two in Brazil and Tokyo, and now 3 or 4 to be confirmed officially by the IWF in a months-time. New kids on the block,” Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella said in a statement.

“Yet, even with the loss of our Tokyo Gold medalist Hidilyn last night, please remember that she inspired these new lifters. She did her best and we all thank her for her great contribution to our Olympic sport. And I promise, we’ll have more lifters coming up too for the Los Angeles Olympics 2028.” (PNA)