The Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella believes the strong performance of Filipino weightlifters at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan will ensure the first-ever medals for the Philippines at the Tokyo Olympics.
Puentevella said Filipino lifters can win a medal of any color, not just in the Tokyo Olympics, but even in the Summer Games in Paris in 2024.
The Filipinos dominated the prestigious Asian tilt after winning two gold, six silver and five bronze medals.
Mary Flor Diaz shone with three silver medals in the women’s 45-kg category while Elreen Ando ruled the women’s 64-kg division with two silver and a bronze.
Vanessa Sarno, 17-year-old from Bohol, won two gold and a silver in the women’s 71-kg class while SEA Games gold medalist Kristel Macrohon took home two bronze in the women’s 76-kg category.
Puentevella said, “What we’ve seen was a preview of the Olympics. Our athletes showed that they could stand their ground against the strongest lifters from China. With that, I am confident that we can win medals not just in Tokyo, but in Paris as well.”
Hidilyn Diaz, who already qualified for the Olympics, finished fourth in the women’s 55-kg category behind the Chinese tandem of Qiuyun Liao and Yajun Li, who took the gold and silver medals, respectively.
Quiyun grabbed the gold medal in the women’s 55-kg class of the World Championships in Pattaya in 2019 while Li battled Diaz in the women’s 53-kg event of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
CAPTION: Vanessa Sarno (Photo courtesy of International Weightlifting Federation)