Thai lifters out of Manila SEAG
Team Philippines has one less competitor to worry about in weightlifting come the Southeast Asian Games later this year.
This developed as the Thailand Amateur Weightlifting Association (Tawa) decided not to field athletes in the coming SEA Games and even in the Tokyo Olympics next year.
Philippine Weightlifting Association president Monico Puentevella said the country’s lifters could benefit from the development especially in their quest to scoop gold medals in the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 Games.
Tawa announced the decision on March 7 after eight of its athletes were found positive for banned substances during the IWF World Championships in Turkmenistan last year.
Thailand will host one of the Olympic qualifying meets, the 2019 IWF Worlds in Pattaya, but no athletes from the home country will see action.
Thailand dominated SEAG weightlifting for years. In 2011 in Jakarta and 2013 in Myanmar, it won nine and six gold medals, respectively. In those editions, the Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz placed second behind Thai competitors in the 58kg.
Diaz, meanwhile, remains to be one of the heavy favorites going into the Games, having won one of the country’s four gold medals in the Jakarta Asian Games against tougher opposition last year.
There were only five events in the Kuala Lumpur Games in 2017, and Thailand won one gold. Weightlifting wasn’t held in the 2015 Singapore Games.
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