Weightlifter Elreen Ando deserves IOC scholarship, says Puentevella

After competing in the Tokyo Olympics as a continental qualifier, Filipino weightlifter Elreen Ann Ando hopes to earn a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics as one of the best athletes in the field.

Ando can now join different international competitions to collect precious Olympic points following her inclusion to the Olympics Solidarity Scholarship Grant as approved by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella said Tuesday, Sept. 14 that Ando deserves the inclusion to the scholar program under the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

“As an Olympian, she deserves getting this scholarship. She needs this badly,” Puentevella said.

“Like our first ever Olympic gold medal winner Hidilyn Diaz, we at weightlifting shall produce not only weightlifters, but educated women when it’s time for them to retire.”

Ando claimed a spot in the 64-kilogram women’s category of the Tokyo Olympics after earning enough ranking points and made it as a continental (Asia) qualifier in the last Summer Games.

She did well as a first time Olympian by finishing seventh overall among 10 participants.

Ando’s total lift of 222kgs (100kgs in snatch, and 122 in clean & jerk) was 14kgs lighter than the 236kgs of gold medal winner Maude Charron of Canada, 10kgs off silver medalist Giorgia Bordignon of Italy, and 8kgs behind Chen-Wen Huei of Chinese Taipei, who took the bronze medal.

Under the IOC program, the Olympic Solidarity will provide assistance to all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) like the POC for the development of athletes “in particular those with the greatest needs of it”.

This program is under Rule 5 of the IOC charter.

Aside from Ando, also approved by the POC for the IOC scholarship grant is fellow Tokyo Olympics veteran EJ Obiena of pole vault, fencer Samantha Catantan, boxers Rogen Ladon are Aira Villegas, Jericho Francisco of skateboarding, Allen Mitch Arcilla of wrestling, and Patrick Coo of BMX.

As a scholar, the POC would receive $7,500 monthly from the IOC and that amount will be divided among the eight Filipino athletes, which means each would be receiving $937.50, or almost P47,000, monthly.

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