Diaz, Ando head PH team roster for 2021 world championship

Hidilyn Diaz (AFP)

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and fellow Olympian Elreen Ann Ando are expected to compete in the World Weightlifting Championship set this December in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella said the two Olympians will lead an 11-man roster for the Dec. 7-17 tournament, which also serves as the start of qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Diaz, who ruled the 55-kilogram category in the women’s division that gave the Philippines its first gold medal in the Olympics, will participate in the same category.

Ando, meanwhile, will see action in the 59kg category instead of the 64kg division she joined during her first Olympics in Tokyo where she finished seventh overall out of 13 participants.

Margaret Colonia will instead fill the spot for the national team in the 64kg women’s division.

Also set to see action for the national team in the world championships are Mary Flor Diaz in 45kg, Elien Rose Perez in 49kg, Kristel Macrohon in 71kg and Vanessa Sarno in 76kg in women’s, while for men’s are Fernando Agadin in 55kg, John Febuar Ceniza in 61kg, Dave Lloyd Pacaldo in 67kg and John Dexter Tabique in 96kg.

“This is our initial roster,” said Puentevella in a message to Manila Bulletin Wednesday, Sept. 15.

“But we’re planning to still hold a tryout for all of them plus hopefully some new lifters who can deliver. Hopefully next month here in Manila or Bacolod, they have to prove their worth before leaving.”

“Thanks to PSC for all their trust in us,” added Puentevella, referring to the Philippine Sports Commission, which is backing the tryout for the weightlifting federation.