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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Puentevella: Different training approach pays off for PH lifters

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Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella is looking at a different approach as his athletes continue to deliver and excel in the international arena.

“It has been proven,” said the former congressman from Bacolod City, referring to his decision to let members of the national team train in their respective provinces or areas.

Monico Puentevella
Monico Puentevella

“What we did was the Philippine Sports Commission sent the equipment to our weightlifters in Cebu, Bohol and Zamboanga,” said Puentevella.

That way, the athletes were able to focus more on their training during the pandemic and stay with their respective families than bring them in some training bubble and out of their comfort zones.

“The other NSAs (national sports associations) can study this,” Puentevella told the online version of the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

Under this setup, the SWP produced the medals in the tough Asian Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where young weightlifters Vanessa Sarno won two golds and one silver, Erleen Ando took three silvers and Mary Flor Diaz had three silvers.

Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz failed to land on the podium in Tashkent but managed to formalize her entry to the Tokyo Olympics in July. It will be her fourth Olympics.

The 17-year-old Sarno hails from Bohol, while the 22-year-old Ando is from Cebu. The other Diaz, 21, is a relative of the Olympic medalist from Zamboanga.

“That’s why dito na muna kami sa probinsya while they train during the pandemic,” Puentevella told the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation .

The 30-year-old Diaz has been training in Kuala Lumpur for a year now. From Tashkent, she returned to the Malaysian capital to continue training all the way to the Tokyo Games in July.

Puentevella, who is confident that the new breed of weightlifters will make it to the 2024 Paris Olympics or beyond, also stressed in the session powered by Smart and with Upstream Media as official webcast partner that those who won medals in Tashkent trained under Filipino coaches.

“I also admire foreign coaches. They are good and they can help. But we cannot belittle the talent of our local coaches. And that was proven in Uzbekistan,” said the former chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

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