Ando awaits IWF verdict on Tokyo slot
Elreen Ann Ando just made a strong case toward becoming the second lifter to represent the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics later this year.
The 25-year-old from Cebu grabbed two silver medals and a bronze in the women’s 64 kilograms division of the ongoing International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Asian Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, sending out a clear intention of joining Hidilyn Diaz in Japan where the Philippines will be shooting to end a century-old chase of a first Games gold medal.A silver medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Ando lifted 94 kgs in the snatch for the bronze medal before hoisting 119 kgs in the clean and jerk for a total of 213 kgs that earned her a pair of silvers.
According to Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, IWF officials will decide on Ando’s Olympic bid after the ongoing Asian championships.
“IWF will compute all six events where she participated in and see if she gets into the top eight. They will inform us,’’ Puentevella told the Inquirer.
The best eight lifters from Ando’s weight class will punch tickets to Tokyo.
“If Elreen doesn’t make it, I’m sure she’ll be ready for Paris 2024. She’s good for a gold, too, in the coming SEA Games in Vietnam,’’ added Puentevella.
The IWF has yet to release the official list of qualifiers to Tokyo, including the formality that Diaz will be on her way to a fourth straight Olympics.
Counting the medals that Ando delivered, Team Philippines has collected five silvers and three bronzes in the continental meet.
Chen Wen-Huei of Chinese Taipei (228 kgs) beat Ando for the gold medal while South Korea’s Sojin Han was good for bronze in the total with 211 kgs.
Vanessa Sarno, the 2019 Asian juniors champion, SEA Games gold medalist Kristel Macrohon and John Dexter Tabique are likewise expected to contribute to the country’s medal cache over the next two days. INQ
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