Granted a wild card, SWP may need to make tough choice | Inquirer Sports

Granted a wild card, SWP may need to make tough choice

/ 04:00 AM December 06, 2020

The Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) is confident it could secure a wild card entry to Tokyo Olympics to boost the country’s medal hopes, one that rests heavily on Rio de Janeiro silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

SWP president Monico Puentevella said he got favorable response from Asian Weightlifting Federation (AWF) chief Mohammad Almana who visited the country recently on his federation’s request for a wild card slot.

He said SWP intends to give the slot to either Southeast Asian Games champ Kristel Macrohon or World Youth online three-gold medal winner Vanessa Sarno.

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Both compete in the 71-kilogram category and that gave SWP a big decision to make whether to hand it to a veteran or a rising star. The SWP, however, is optimistic the problem will resolve itself.

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“We are still confident that Kristel will qualify on her own,” said Puentevella, referring to the 24-year-old World Cup bronze medalist who is still vying to make the Tokyo cut.

If Macrohon fails, only then would Puentevella and the SWP decide on who gets the wild card slot.

Sarno, who hails from Tagbilaran, Bohol, swept her division in the recent Online Worlds where the country bagged four golds.

She forms part of the country’s next generation of lifters, which includes sisters Rosegie and Rose Jean Ramos, who won the other gold for the country in the online meet.

Diaz is expected to make qualify outright on account of her high ranking. She is currently fifth in the 55-kg class.

Almana was part of the Qatar delegation bidding for the hosting of the 2030 Asian Games. They are battling Saudi Arabia as host in the bidding slated Dec. 15 in Oman.

Puentevella, who is also AWF former president, said he was assured of the support of the continental body when the country bids for Asian Youth Championships in Manila next year.

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TAGS: Kristel Macrohon, Tokyo Olympics, Vanessa Sarno

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