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Fit as a fiddle
TOKYO Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz is skipping the 2021 World Weightlifting Championships scheduled Dec. 7-17 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, but Filipino sports fans need not worry.
That’s because the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP), headed by president Monico Puentevella, is sending four of the countrys top female weightlifters to take the place of Diaz.
Speaking at the People Sports Conversations program presented by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) last Thursday, Puentevella said the four — Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando, Asian champion Vanessa Sarno, SEA Games winner Kristel Macrohon and Mary Flor Diaz — are just as good.
“All these four weightlifters are capable of winning medals and making the country proud just like what Hidilyn did in Tokyo,”said Puentevella during the weekly session supported by PAGCOR, Milo, PCSO and Unilever.
“This World Championships in Uzbekistan is a qualiyfying tournament for the Paris Olympics. This is the very first of many. Kung mag-qualify ka sa Olympics, kailangan daanan mo ito dahil importante ito,” claimed Puentevella.
“Si Hidilyn, hindi siya ready ngayon. Pero OK lang yun. Babawi sya sa Asian Games at SEA Games, na qualifying din for the Paris Olympics. Kung maganda ang showing nila Vanessa at Elreen, pati na sina Kristel at Mary Flor, pupunta na mga yan sa SEA Games at Asian Games. Si Elreen kukuha yan ng gold at si Vanessa maski silver sa SEA Games or Asian Games sa China.”
Puentevella is confident these young weighlifters will book a ticket to the Paris Olympics.
“I know these kids will go to Paris. It’s their time to shine. Kukuha ng medalya ang mga yan dahil talagang ready na sila. Maganda ang kundisyon ng mga yan. They are very hungry. They have a bright future. Every year naman meron kaming national competitions for them tapos ngayon international competitions kaya mahalaga ang tulong ng PSC sa amin,” explained Puentevella.
“It is the same masterplan na ibinigay namin kay Hidilyn, sa tulong ni Chairman (Butch) Ramirez kasi alam niya na magde-deliver. The same way ginawa kay Hidilyn. Talo kami sa Beijing at London, pero sa Rio de Janeiro, may silver na at sa Tokyo, gold na. Si Hidilyn kasi talagang may pusong manalo. Ganito din ngayon sina Elreen at Vanessa. Parehong may pusong bakal, hindi pusong mamon.”
A three-time lawmaker from Bacolod, Puentevella also said the Asian Youth and Junior Championships originally scheduled in January was postponed to a later date upon the advise of the Asian Weightlifting Federation due to the pandemic.
“Baka gawin natin ito after SEA Games na. Gumaganda na naman ang panahon at lumuluwag na ang sitwasyon. Siguro sa Bacolod or sa Rizal Memorial dahil Asian-level competition ito.:
“Yun sa Asian Games naman sa Hangzhou, tuloy-tuloy lang ang training.”