SEA Games: Hidilyn Diaz-led PH weightlifting eyes five golds

December 2, 2019: Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines competes in the women's 55kg weightlifting event at SEA Games 30 2019.

December 2, 2019: Hidilyn Diaz of the Philippines competes in the women’s 55kg weightlifting at SEA Games 30 2019. PHOTO REQUESTED / Sherwin Vardeleon

MANILA, Philippines – With the guidance of Hidilyn Diaz, weightlifter Samahang (SWP) has high expectations for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The country’s Olympic gold medalist Diaz, banners a team of seven women witnessing the weightlifting action of the biennial meeting scheduled for May 12 to 23.

SWP chief Monico Puentevella said winning a maximum of five gold medals is achievable for this year’s SEA Games.

“Fearless forecast: I think there should be a minimum of two golds, and then we can compete for four or five golds. Maybe get lucky. If God will give us more, why not? So the minimum is two gold and the maximum is four or five,” Puentevella said during the PSA Forum on Tuesday.

Joining Diaz, who will defend her 55 kg title, are Mary Flor Diaz (45 kg), Rosegie Ramos (49 kg), Margaret Colonia (59 kg), Elreen Ann Ando (64 kg), Vanessa Sarno ( 71 kg), and Kristel Macrohon (+71 kg).

Meanwhile, Olympian Nestor Colonia (67 kg) led the six men’s group, along with Fernando Agad Jr. (55 kg), Rowel Garcia (61 kg), Lemon Danish Tarro (73 kg), John Paul Padullo (89 kg) and John Dexter Tabique (+89 kg).

Puentevella cited Ando, ​​Sarno, Macrohon, Ramos and Colonia as among the potential gold medal winners alongside Diaz.

Like Diaz, Macrohon also Won gold medal at SEA Games 2019while Sarno won a gold in the Asian Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last year.

“You never know. Ramos in Colonia are young but they have the fighting spirit in them, and with all their training at the Rizal Memorial, I feel like they might be in luck because I know they too. yearn to follow in Hidilyn’s footsteps,” said Puentevella.

Among the seniors, Puentevella did not reduce the chances of Garcia, Tabique and Colonia.

“For the men, we can create surprises because these boys also crave and dream. And they’re training really well,” said Puentevella, adding that the country had won a gold medal in men’s weightlifting in the past thanks to entrenched Jaime Sebastian.

Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, which skipped the SEA Games three years ago after volunteering not to attend after the doping controversy that rocked the team, are the biggest threats to the country’s gold medal. .

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