MORE than 130 lifters from all over the country are expected to take part in the 2018 Hidilyn Diaz Weightlifting Open Championships when it is held from July 27 to 29 at Meralco Fitness Center in Ortigas, Pasig.
Tournament director Cyrus Cruz expect more entries to join after many good lifters were not able to see action in the recent 2018 Philippine National Games in Cebu City.
“Maraming hindi nakalipad papuntang Cebu, kaya maraming sasali,” said Cruz, who also heads the University of the Philippines Weightlifting Club.
The tournament, which is held with the support of the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation and the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas, aims at helping Olympian Hidilyn Diaz leave a legacy behind when she finally retires after the 2020 Olympics.
And that’s to find talents and young lifters who have Olympic dreams and can excel in international competitions.
It will serve as a tryouts for aspiring members of the national team and for those who can join the seven lifters who have been selected to see action in the coming Asian Games in Indonesia.
A selection process will also be conducted for the national squad that will be formed for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games next year.
Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella said they have recommendations for Diaz and her teammates to be included for the national delegation to the coming Asiad and those who will excel in the HDWOC.
“The tournament will be another qualifying competition for the Asian Games and the SEA Games. We have made recommendations to the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission. Sana ma-approve ito,” said Puentevella during the launch at the Crossfit Ortigas Center.
Nestor Colonia, a teammate of Diaz in the Rio Games, is lined up for the Asiad for the 62 kg class, along with Jeffrey Garcia in the men’s division.
Kristel Macrohon (75 kg) is with Diaz in the women’s side, along with Elaine Perez, Elreen Ando and Dessa de los Santos.
“MVPSF has partnered with SWP. We are very proud to partner with them and make sure that she (Diaz) leaves behind a legacy in weightlifting,” said MVPSF executive director Patricia Hizon.
In the 2017 edition of the HDWOC, Colonia stamped his class in the men’s 62-kg play with a 253-kg effort built around 113kgs in snatch and 140kgs in clean and jerk, while Ando ruled the women’s 63kg with a 186 kg total (85-101).
Diaz’s cousin, Mary Flor of Mampang dominated the women’s 48kg class after lifting 148 kgs, while her brother Eduardo Jr. grabbed a silver in the men’s 69kg with a 218kg total, behind winner Joshua Dinglasa of Pasolobong (255kgs).
Margaret Colonia and Kristel Macrohon also struck gold, with Colonia winning the women’s 69kg event with 170kgs and Macrohon topping the 75kg competition with 195kgs.