THERE’S hope for weightlifting in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
Listen to Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella.
“Madami akong biyaya na bigay ng Panginoon. Bukod sa Olympic gold medal na nakuha ni Hidilyn Diaz, naging first Filipino Asian president ako sa weighlifting in history,” said Puentevella during the “Sports on Air Weekly” program last Jan.14.
“As a board member of the IWF, I am very optimistic na maaayos namin ang problema in six years time from 2022 to 2028, “ explained Puentevella, referring to reports that weightlifting is one of three high-octane sports not included in the Los Angeles Olympics.
The 75-year-old sports leader from Bacolod said there’s still enough time to appeal to the International Olympic Committee and prevent weightlifting from joining boxing and modern pentathlon out of the 2028 Oympics.
“The IOC is actually giving us a chance to cleanse our ranks,” said Puentevella, citing the three sports’ failure to meey certain criterias, such as governance, finance, and corruption.
“Why am I optimistic? I plan to make a motion during our zoom meeting with IWF this month. I also spoke in the last international congress in Uzbekistan about two months ago. I’m sure na kakausapin namin ang IOC na huwag sirain ang weightlifting. Unang-una ang weightlifting kasama na sa unang Olympiada, In the 1896 Athens Olympics, there were 10 events, and weightlifting was there.”
A former three-time lawmaker, Puentevella claimed doping was the biggest problem in weightlifting.
“Kung sa boxing, ang problema ay officiating, sa weightlifting doping naman. Matagal na yan. Mga 20-30 years na siguro. Madami din kasing mga bansa na matakaw sa medalya.”
Added Puentevella: “Pero lahat naman kami ngayo gustong mag-cooperate sa IOC. Takot din kami lahat kaya gusto namin ayusin. Pagpalit ng constitution, pinalitan namin. Ang bilis.”
“Kaya nga yun motion ko sa IOC, kapag nahuli ka sa doping, five years ban, disqualified ang bayan. Second violation sa doping, 10 years ban from all international event. Third violation, permanently out of the IWF. Dapat ganun kasi ang IOC, parang ayaw maniwala. Parang sa kanila, nandyan pa. Pero I also want to let you know, In Tokyo, not a single case of doping happened.”
Asked about the 2024 Paris Olympics, Puentevella exuded confidence that country can win more medals
“With the help of God, magkaka- medalya tayo uli sa Paris. Yun apat na babae — Hidilyn (Diaz), Vanessa (Sarno), Kristel (Macrohon) at Elreen (Ando), sigurado. Palagay ko silver or gold. I can already see that hanggang ako ay kukunin na ng Panginoon. Kahit tapusin ko lang itong Paris,” said Puentevella.
“Kung kukunin na ako ng Panginoon, goodbye. Meron akong memorial park, na pinakamalaki nga sa Bacolod. Meron akong mausoleum gaya ni Dolphy at nakita ko where I am going to rest.
Matagal na ako sa sports pero gusto ko uli makita magka-medalya tayo sa Paris,” admitted Puentevella, who grew up watching his father play baseball and tennis. with reports from Gab Ferreras