YOUNG Filipino weightlifters conquered Bali, Indonesia when they collected four gold, five silver and three bronze medals in the just-concluded Indonesia Youth Weightlifting Championships.
Fourteen-year-old Vanessa Serrano of Bohol garnered three gold medals while Zamboanga City’s Rosegie Ramos has a gold and a pair of silvers. Linette Hipolito, also of Zamboanga, took home three silver medals, and Paolo Rivera of Metro Manila earned three bronze medals.
Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella said this is the future of Philippine weightlifting.
“We will train them to join the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2019 and hopefully also for Olympics 2020. This is how Hidilyn Diaz also started,” he said.
Puentevella added they will also have seven entries in the upcoming 2018 Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia late this August.
Confirmed to lead the national team are Nestor Colonia, Hidilyn Diaz, and Kristel Macrohon.
The 26-year-old Colonia is a 2016 Olympic qualifier, a 2015 Asian Championships winner, and third placer in the 2015 World and 2016 Asian Championships.
Aside from winning an Olympic silver medal two years ago which ended the country’s 20-year medal drought, 27-year-old Diaz was the youngest competitor in the 2008 Summer Olympics. She was also a bronze medalist in the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand and 10th placer at the 2006 Asian Games.
Macrohan finished fifth place in Asian Championships and Asian Cup last year, and bronze medalist in the Fourth Qatar International Cup.
Puentevella reiterated that despite having a lesser entry in the Asiad, they are optimistic of making good in the competition. (HGD)