Weightlifting chief eyes larger talent pool
Philippine Weightlifting Association chief Monico Puentevella said the sport needs more than just Hidilyn Diaz to carry it.
“I’m bringing 10 weightlifters to China next year and train them for a long period of time,” said Puentevella, a former chair of the Philippine Olympic Committee.
He handpicked lifters Kristel Macrohon, Elreen Anne Ando and Dessa Delos Santos to join Diaz in the trip as part of their preparation for the forthcoming Asian Games in Indonesia and the qualifying tournaments for the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
“We have a good pool of promising talents in weightlifting. We just have to take care of them in order for these athletes to reach their full potential,” said Puentevella.
Also possibly joining the China training camp in Guangzi are Rosegie and Rosejean Ramos as well as four other male lifters that Puentevella has yet to name.
“We are negotiating with Guangzi where Hidilyn and Nestor Colonia trained prior to the Rio Olympics,” said Puentevella.
Diaz captured a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Games and added one silver and bronze during the recent world championships in Anaheim, California.
The weightlifting celebrity from Zamboanga City also got a silver medal in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan last September before capping the year as one of the awardees in the prestigious The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in the Philippines for 2017.
“They will train in China three months before the Asian Games. We will have a tryout in the Philippine National Games in Cebu this April to discover new talents and coaches,” said Puentevella.