THE Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas, headed by former Cong. Monico Puentevella, is not taking any chances in the coming Southeast Asian Games and other competitions this year.
Puentevella said the weightlifting association will hold tryouts for deserving members of the national team in Bacolod City on March 8-14.
“Maganda itong tryputs sa Bacolod sa Marso dahil para sa SEA Games ito. Nandyan lahat ng mga magagaling natin,” said Puentevella during the “Sports on Air Weekly” program via Zoom.
“Nandyan si Hidilyn (Diaz) kung naka-recover na sya. Nandyan sina Vanessa (Sarno), Kristel (Macrohon) at Elreen (Ando). Maganda ito, masaya ” added the 75-year-old lawmaker-sportsman from Bacolod.
“After the SEA Games, tryout uli para sa Asian Games sa September naman. Sigurado ako mag-medalya din tayo diyan. If you remember, the first gold medal of the country in the last Asian Games came from weightlifting. Si Hidlyn din.”
“By December, I am now bidding for the Asian Championships in Manila. At dahil Asian Championship, maging Olympic qualifying na din ito. The whole world will come because it will be Olympic qualifying. I’m sure puno ang Maynila dahil they (foreigners) will all come. May laban na tayo dito.”
In other developments:
Puentevella said he is leaving it to Diaz and her team if they want to get a new foreign coach to take the place of Chinese coach Gao Kaiwen.
“Hidilyn has already proven herself with the gold medal in Tokyo and silver in Rio de Janeiro, so I leave it to her and her team to choose their new coach. Sabi ko nga, kung may makuha kayo na kapalit ni Coach Gao, okay naman. Up to now, wala pa sinasabi.”
“But I also talked to Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Butch Ramirez last week and I told him na kukuha din ako ng foreign coach para sa ibang atleta natin, like Vanessa Sarno and Elreen Ando,” recalled Puentevella.
“Alam nyo kasi sa world championships, between 1-2 kilograms lang ang diperensya ng gold at silver medalists. Malaki ang maitutulong dyan ng foreign coach gaya ni Coach Gao at ng mga psychologists at nutritionists.”
“Kay Hidilyn, malaki ang naitulong nila Coach Gao, Coach Aro at Dr. Trinidad kaya gagawin ko rin yan sa ibang atleta natin.
He cited Olympian Nestor Colonia as an example.
“For me, Nestor was a sure medalist.I was hoping dalawang medalya sa Rio dahil si Nestor nag-gold medalist na siya sa Asian Championships. Asia is usually the strongest sa aming weight category. Pero.ang problema na-pressured. Iba ang pressure sa Olympics. Kahit sa SEA Games, maka-gold ka, iba na pagdating sa Olympics.”
“Dyan na papasok yun coach, yun nutrionist, yun psycjologist..Konting bawas sa pagkain, konting psychological motivation, konting coordination. Gawin din natin ito sa ibang mgs atleta.”