PH lifter Colonia collects two golds and one silver in Asian tilt
Lifter Nestor Colonia eased the pain of defeat in the Asian Games by asserting his mastery in the 45th Men’s Asian Weightlifting Championships.
Colonia, the current Philippine record holder, seized the silver in the snatch before pocketing the gold medal in the clean and jerk for a total lift of 274kg to rule the 56kg category in the continental-level meet held in Phuket, Thailand.
“Lord God, thank you for these medals. Thank you also to coach Aldanete Alfonsito and Elbert Atilano for helping me when I’m down,” posted the 22-year-old on his Facebook account.
Colonia failed to medal in the Incheon Asian Games last year and slid from 62kg to a more comfortable weight category.
He more than made up this time with two golds and one silver after lifting 121kg in the snatch and 153kg in the clean and jerk to defeat his Thai and Vietnamese foes.
“This is history, the first gold medal in the Asian Seniors for the Philippines,” said two-time Olympian Hidilyn Diaz, who is set to compete in the women’s -53kg of the 26th Women’s Asian Championships late Monday afternoon.
Though still off the 280kg Olympic qualifying standard, Colonia’s 274 total strengthened his bid for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
According to coach Aldanete Alfonsito, his ward has been improving steadily since lifting a personal best 270 a few months back and setting the national record of 263 in the Philippine National Games two years ago in Dumaguete City.
Vying for a third straight Olympic appearance, Diaz is aiming for a combined score of 235 in the clean and jerk, snatch and total to keep her Olympic hopes up.
After Phuket, next stop for Diaz and Colonia is the Invitational 2015 IWF Grand Prix in Fuzhou, China on Sept. 21-23, the last chance for the Filipino lifters to book tickets to Rio.