Ando awaits IWF verdict on Tokyo slot


Elreen Ann Ando has just made a strong case for becoming the second lift to represent the Philippines at the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

The 25-year-old from Cebu won two silver and one bronze in the 64-kilogram women’s division of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Asian Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, sending a clear intention to join Hidilyn Diaz in Japan where the Philippines will shoot to end a 100-year pursuit of a first-ever Games gold. 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA) silver medalist Ando lifted 94 kg in the snatch for the bronze medal before hoisting 119 kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 213 kg which earned him a pair of silver.

According to Samahang Weightlifting President ng Pilipinas Monico Puentevella, IWF officials will decide on Ando’s Olympic bid after the current Asian Championships.

“IWF will calculate the six events she has participated in and see if she makes the top eight. They will inform us, ” Puentevella told the Inquirer.

The top eight weightlifters in Ando’s weight class will punch tickets to Tokyo.

“If Elreen doesn’t make it, I’m sure she’ll be ready for Paris 2024. She’s also good for a gold medal at the upcoming SEA Games in Vietnam,” Puentevella added.

The IWF has yet to release the official list of qualifiers in Tokyo, including the formality that Diaz will be on his way to a fourth consecutive Olympics.

Including the medals awarded by Ando, ​​the Philippine team collected five silver and three bronzes in the continental competition.

Chen Wen-Huei of Chinese Taipei (228 kg) beat Ando for the gold medal while South Korean Sojin Han was good for bronze overall at 211 kg.

2019 Junior Asian Champion Vanessa Sarno, SEA Games Gold Medalist Kristel Macrohon and John Dexter Tabique are also expected to contribute to the country’s medal cache over the next two days. INQ

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