Manila -- The Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) targets to win four to five medals in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on November 30 to December 11.
SWP president Monico Puentevella said his 10-strong Philippine weightlifting team, composed of Hidilyn Diaz (55kg), Mary Flor Diaz (45kg), Elien Rose Perez (49kg), Margaret Colonia (59kg), Elreen Ann Ando (64kg), Kristel Macrohon (71kg), John Fabuar Ceniza (55kg), Dave Llyod Pacaldo (61kg), Nestor Colonia (67kg) and Jeffrey Garcia (73kg), has what it takes to pull off a couple of surprises in the biennial meet.
“For the SEA Games, we’re aiming for four to five medals. I am hoping that we will get at least one or two medals for men, and four medals for women,” said Puentevella, who revealed that the SEA Games is part of the Association’s long-term plan to send more Filipino lifters to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and hopefully even the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
“My master plan from the beginning was, like what I did to Hidilyn, let them join all these competitions, in between SEAG and Tokyo Olympics. After siguro ng Tokyo, mas madami na (Filipino Olympic qualifiers),” Puentevella said.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez is also pinning the country’s hopes on the weightlifters, saying they are among the athletes who can be counted on to spring surprises in the biennial meet.
“The PSC has done its part in giving the athletes the opportunity to train and gave them exposure,” Ramirez said.
“The National Sports Associations (NSAs) have made their assessments on their chances and we are counting on them.” he added. (PR)