THE year 2016 is a good year for the Philippine Weightlifting Association (PWA), said its President Monico Puentevella, after it snatched a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics as well as several other accomplishments during the World Youth Championships in Penang, Malaysia and the Asian Youth Championships in Tokyo.
For Puentevella, Hidiliyn Diaz’s silver medal finish in Rio made his job easier. “There’s so much demand now for weightlifting all over the country. And, so many children are taking up the sport, too which I saw in the recent Batang Pinoy in Tagum City,” he said.
“And, I thank President Rodrigo Duterte and the present Philippine Sports Commission administration headed by Chairman William Ramirez for granting all our requests. We just brought 15 young hopefuls in the Asian Youth Championships in Tokyo. This is the way for 2017 and onwards, and we’re on the right track.” he added. “That was our biggest delegation for the necessary exposure. Some of those kids have never even left their provinces but, have fought against the best in the world. Our competitors are the same athletes we will be facing in 2020.”
It was recalled that the Philippine contingent bagged 3 silvers and 3 bronzes in Asian Youth Championships in Tokyo – which features more than 40 countries competing. “This is how we also prepared Hidilyn,” said Puentevella, who described how the Filipino lifters are fighting despite Japan’s cold weather.
Among those competed in the Tokyo event came from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Taipei – where the gold medalist in Diaz’s category came.
Meanwhile, following the World Championships in Malaysia, Puentevella stressed that PWA’s next goal is to bid for an international championship in our country as soon as possible. “Everybody in the International Weightlifting Federation, of which I was once a member, is very excited to have it here in our beautiful country. It’s been a long time since we hosted an international event. This way, we can promote the sport more and produce more Hidilyns in the country and go for that elusive Olympic gold,” Puentevella said.*