Young batch of lifters chase PH glory in Saudi
Six young weightlifters, all of them tipped to follow the path taken by the great Hidilyn Diaz, will see action in the 2021 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Championships this week in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Jeaneth Hipolito and Rose Jean Ramos banner the eight-man delegation together with Lovely Inan, Albert Ian delos Santos, Adrian Cristobal and Christian Rodriguez. Joining them during the Oct. 5 to 12 world meet are coaches Allen Jayfruz Diaz and Roselle Destura.
“These junior athletes are the future of weightlifting. They possess great chances of bringing home medals from the world stage,’’ said Samahang Weightlifting (SWP) ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella.
Vanessa Sarno, an 18-year-old from Bohol, is the reigning 71-kilogram champion. She won’t be defending her title there this year, but remains as one of the inspirations for the lean and mean Philippine delegation.
“Vanessa’s victory in the last world championship will really motivate them to perform well,’’ said Puentevella, head of the first national sports association that claimed an Olympic gold medal for the nation through Diaz.
Sarno swept three gold medals in the snatch, clean and jerk, and total during the 2020 IWF World Youth Championship hosted by Peru.
Projected as Diaz’s heir apparent, Sarno clinched the gold medal in her weight class at the 2021 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, early this year after topping the clean and jerk, total and placing second in the snatch.
Hipolito will be entered in the women’s 40-kg category, Ramos in the women’s 45kg and Inan in the women’s 49kg while Delos Santos (men’s 55kg), Cristobal (men’s 61kg) and Rodriguez (men’s 67kg) are likewise expected to contend heavily for medals in their weight classes.
Besides Diaz and Sarno, the SWP and the Philippine Sports Commission have also been backing Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ann Ando (64kg) and Kristel Macrohon (76kg) to qualify to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Meanwhile, Diaz has begun firming up her plans to go back to Malaysia within the month and train for the coming 2021 IWF World Championships in Tashkent on Dec. 7 to 17. INQ
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