Tokyo Olympian Ando leads PH contingent in weightlifting worlds

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) – Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando will lead the 10 Filipino weightlifters who will carry the fight in the 2021 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The 10 weightlifters of the Philippine team aspire for a podium finish in the Dec. 7-17 showpiece sans Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who opted to skip the world championships.

Ando, who placed seventh in her Olympic debut, is scheduled to compete in the women's 59kg event on Saturday, Dec. 11. 

Teenage prodigy Vanessa Sarno, the only Filipino to win the gold in the last Asian Weightlifting Championships, will take a shot for the world title in her seniors debut in the women's 71kg event on Monday, December 13. 

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Kristel Macrohon, a 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, will also face Sarno in the category.

Diaz's cousin Mary Flor Diaz and Elien Rose Perez will take the floor in the women's 45kg and 49kg events, respectively, on Wednesday.

Margaret Colonia is the last Filipina on deck in the women's 64kg event slated on Sunday, Dec. 12.

Four male weightlifters will also represent the country in the world championships.

Fernando Agad will open Team Philippines' campaign on Tuesday night as he is lined up to compete in the men's 55kg division.

John Febuar Ceniza, a silver medalist in the 2019 SEA Games, will show his stuff in the men's 61kg event on Thursday, Dec. 9.

Dave Lloyd Pacaldo will be the country's representative in the men's 67kg event on Friday, Dec. 10.

Finally, John Dexter Tabique will close the Filipino weightlifters' campaign in the world championships on Monday, Dec. 13, in the men's 96kg event.

The Philippines won two bronze medals, all by Hidilyn Diaz, in the last IWF World Championships in 2019 held at Pattaya, Thailand.