Sarno, lifters back to work after ‘phenomenal’ Asian tilt showing
A day after watching Vanessa Sarno win three gold medals in the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Liza Jaluag gave the young rising star a call.
Jaluag and husband Nick have been primarily responsible for polishing Sarno, a once young impoverished kid from Bohol province who has grown up to be one of the weightlifters being groomed as an heir apparent to Hidilyn Diaz.
“I reminded her that since she’s done with her event, she has to go back to training even while they’re still there in Tashkent,” Jaluag told the Inquirer on Saturday via a phone call from their training base in Bohol.
Sarno’s response? “She said yes, but she asked for a little time to do her laundry first,” Jaluag said, laughing.
Sarno ruled the -71 kilograms women’s junior category, topping the snatch (100 kg), clean and jerk (130 kg) and total (230 kg) to hike the country’s haul in the continental tilt to 15 gold medals, two silvers and three bronzes.
“[The team] was phenomenal,” Monico Puentevella, the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president said. “This is so far the best [result we had] in the Asian youth and juniors. In the past, even one gold by Sarno in North Korea made me happy. Now, with 15, what more can we ask?”
“Sarno is ready for Paris 2024 [Olympics] but she’ll have to work harder and I’ll make sure of that,” added Puentevella.
But in the meantime, there’s a much smaller, yet important, tournament to prepare for, thus the need for Sarno and the other weightlifters to hit the gym even while awaiting their departure from Uzbekistan on the 25th.
“Everyone there, after their event was done, went back to training,” said Jaluag, who with her husband also trains another weightlifter who campaigned in Uzbekistan, John Rafael Macato.
National team revamp
Sarno and the other weightlifters, Jaluag said, are joining the National Open slated in Tagbilaran City starting Aug. 8, hence the need to immediately start training.
“The National Open could revamp the national team and we could see new potentials making it to the pool,” Jaluag said. “For others already in the pool, it’s a chance to retain their spots. That’s why our weightlifters in Uzbekistan went back to training the moment they were done in their competition.”
Aside from Sarno, also contributing to the golden haul were the Ramos sisters, Rosegie and Rose Jean.
Rose Jean Ramos won the most medals after taking all three golds in the women’s youth 45 kg and seizing another gold in the junior 45 kg on top of one silver and a bronze. Rose Jean swept all the golds at stake in the junior women’s 49-kg division
Rosalinda Faustina, meanwhile, cleaned up all three golds in the women’s youth 49-kg class while Angelina Colonia chipped in two more golds in the women’s youth 40 kg.
“Fifteen times, our national anthem was played,” Puentevella said. “To all the coaches under Tony Agsutin, our [SWP] board, parents and the MVP Sports Foundation, thank you. Paris 2024 [Olympics] and Los Angeles 2028, here we come.”