Vanessa Sarno of the Philippines captured two gold medals and one silver medal, while fellow Filipinos Chariz Macawli and Rosegie Ramos took home a silver and two bronze medals in the 2019 Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships late Thursday in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Sarno copped her first gold medal in the 71-kilogram (kg) in the youth women’s class after making a total of 209 kg and her second one in the 91 kg in the snatch.
North Korea’s Ju Hyang U settled for silver with 204 kg, while Nigora Suvonova of Uzbekistan ended up with a bronze after lifting 192 kg.
Ju and Suvonova finished with the silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the snatch of the 91-kg class.
Sarno, 16 and a native of Bohol, earned a silver medal in clean and jerk after lifting 118 kg in the 91-kg category.
Ju won the gold with 119 kg and Suvonova tallied 108 kg for the bronze medal.
Macawli bagged the silver medal (116 kg total and 66 kg in the clean and jerk) in the 40-kg youth women’s division and the bronze medal (50 kg in the snatch), while Ramos took the bronze in the women’s 49-kg class after hoisting 76 kg in the snatch.
Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz was elated by the accomplishments of the young Filipino weightlifters.
“I’m happy for their achievements and I want to salute them for doing their best in training [and in the] competition, and for representing the Philippines well,” Diaz told The Manila Times on Saturday in an online interview.
She said she believes that these weightlifters could be potential Olympians.
“Syempre, kayang kaya nila (Of course, they can do it), but they have to believe first, then work hard and be smart),” Diaz added.
Meanwhile, Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) President Monico Puentevella said the SWP is now looking forward not only to the Tokyo Olympics next year, but also to the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“This is part of our long-term program for Paris 2024 Olympics. If we can beat a Korean in their own turf, we must be doing something good. Thanks to your prayers and to PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) for giving us their full support,” Puentevella told The Times in a text message.
Weightlifting has given the country a big hope of ending its gold medal drought in the Olympics after Diaz’s surprising feat in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, where she won a silver medal.
She also bagged an Asian Games gold medal in 2018 in Indonesia.