The national powerlifting team bagged 32 gold medals in the 2017 Asian Bench Press Championships held at the Great Eastern Hotel activity hall in Quezon City.
Veteran international campaigner Anita Koykka led the charge of the nationals as she won two gold medals in the -57 kg. category of women’s masters and women’s open in the event that drew more than 300 lifters from Asia.
Reigning World Deadlift champion and Asian Championship gold medalist Joan Masangkay made her presence felt by claiming the top honors in the women’s juniors 43 kg. while Francisco Arca (men’s sub-juniors -66 kg.), Rolando Maye (men’s masters -59 kg.), Jessa Mae Tabuan (women’s sub-juniors -43 kg.), Rowella Abrea (women’s sub-juniors -47 kg.) and Kathleen Chiang (women’s juniors -63 kg.) also topped their respective events.
The other gold medalists were Gabriel Hidalgo in men’s juniors; Merwin Torres, Edwin Sonido, Patrick Torres, Edgar Munar, Vlademeer Sorezo and Roberto Gayanes in men’s masters; Romeo Tayawa in men’s open; Veronica Ompod, Rachel Bais, Daisy Grace Lipasana and Marielle Liwanag in women’s sub-juniors; Maxine Fugen, Nicole Go and Catherine Marthos in women’s juniors; Victorina Calma, Kathy Moran, Nina Oca and Jane Quiambao in women’s masters; and Jinky Guion, Leslie Evangelista, May Estrera, Lee Anne Zipagan and Samantha Tayag in women’s open.
The Philippines bagged the overall championship crown in four categories, namely women’s sub-juniors, women’s juniors, women’s open and women’s masters in the tournament participated in by Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.
Eight Filipino lifters were named Best Lifters (Most Valuable Player) in their weight classes. They are Tabuan and Ompod in sub-juniors; Chaing and Masangkay in juniors; Calma in Master I, Koykka and Moran in Master II; and Oca in Master III.