PH lifters take first step on road to Paris without Hidilyn
A brave, 10-strong Philippine contingent missing its heart and soul departs for Tashkent in Uzbekistan on Dec. 2 to take part in the 2021 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships, the first in a series of events that will give out slots to Paris 2024.
Asian champion Vanessa Sarno and Olympian Elreen Ann Ando banner the PH team after Hidilyn Diaz begged off for being out of shape as the Filipinos chase gold medals in the Dec. 7-17 event and jump-start their respective drives to make it to the next Games.
“This is the first of the qualifiers for Olympics 2024. So far, and thank God, every time we send our lifters abroad for competition, we always come home with medals for the country,’’ said Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella. “Just like Hidilyn [before she won the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics], our lifters have been preparing for Paris 2024 for a long time now.’’
Kristel Macrohon is the other entry being relied heavily upon.
“Time to move on with new, hungry and determined young lifters,” added Puentevella.
Diaz, who won the Philippines’ first Olympic gold in Tokyo, went back to Malaysia recently in an effort to make the worlds. But short in time to get back into world-class shape, she suddenly begged off from joining the trip to Tashkent.
Mary Flor Diaz, Hidilyn’s younger sister, will take part in the women’s 45 kilogram, with the other members being Elien Rose Perez (49kg) and Margaret Colonia (64kg) joining Sarno (71kg), Macrohon (71kg) and Ando (59kg).
Fernando Agad is entered in the men’s 55kg, John Febuar Ceniza in the 61kg, Dave Lloyd Pacaldo in the 67kg and John Dexter Tabique in the 96kg. INQ
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