The Philippine weightlifting team did not waste any of the national government’s funds released through the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) using it as inspiration to win 3 golds and 3 bronze medals at the Roma 2020 Weightlifting World Cup held in Pala Pellicone in Rome, Italy.
The PSC gave P2.2 million budget for the airfare, accommodation, allowance and other related expenses of the 7 athletes and 4 officials who competed in the Rome competition, apart from the P1.7 million budget of Olympian Hidilyn Diaz’s core team.
“This is an Olympic qualifying tournament for our national weightlifters. Walang dahilan para hindi natin sila bigyan ng full support,” said PSC Chairman William Ramirez.
Filipino weightlifting superstar and Olympic Games silver medalist Diaz carried the Philippines’ campaign after sweeping the women’s 55kg class on Tuesday.
Diaz won 3 gold medals broken down into 93kg in the snatch, 119kg in clean and jerk, and 212kg in total.
She now ranks number 4 in the world which bettered her chances to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Meanwhile, another Zamboanga City lifter Kristel Macrohon added to the country’s medal haul after winning 2 bronze medals in the women’s 71kg class which came from the clean and jerk (115kg) and from the total (209kg).
Macrohon, a gold medalist in the 2019 Philippines Southeast Asian Games held last November 30 to December 11 last year, felt a little regret after finishing 3rd place in the competition.
“Nanghihinayang po ako kasi sa SEA games po 123kg na po yung binuhat ko sa clean and jerk, ngayon po bumaba pa. Pero thankful pa rin po ako dahil umabot po ako sa podium.” said Macrohon.
However, the 23-year-old lifter was also inspired because of her teammates including fellow Zamboanga native Diaz, who swept the women’s 55kg class, three days earlier.
“Nagbibigay po talaga sa akin ng motivation yung mga teammates ko po. Yung hirap at sakripisyo naming lahat sa training. At higit sa lahat, iniisip ko po na para ito sa bayan. Iyun po ang nagbibigay ng lakas na loob po sa akin.” Macrohon said.
She also emphasized the support she is receiving from the PSC which made her campaign successful.
“Thank you po sa PSC sa walang sawang pagsuporta po sa amin. Kayo po ang susi ng tagumpay ko,” said Macrohon.
Other Filipino lifter John Febuar Ceniza also added a bronze medal in the men’s 61kg division.
After the Roma World Cup, the team is expected to compete in the 2020 IWF Asian Championships in Kazakhstan, which will serve as their final ticket to qualify in the Tokyo Olympics slated July 24 to August 9.