Pinoy athletes shine in World Powerlifting

Philippine bet Veronica Ompod hardly worked out a sweat in winning four gold medals when all other competitors failed to make the weight in their 43-kg Women’s Junior division of the 2021 World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Halmstad, Sweden.

Veronica Ompod takes the podium with four gold medals. (Powerlifting Association of the Philippines)
Nonetheless, Ompod was still expected to top her opponents based on the official rankings as the Filipina was a two-time world record-holder in her Sub-Junior years. 

The medals came from the sport’s three standard events such as bench press, squat, and deadlift. The fourth gold medal was awarded by combining the scores of the three events of the competition for 19 to 23 years old.

Meanwhile, Ompod’s compatriot Jane Erasmo bagged four bronze medals in the 47-kg Women’s Sub-Junior class.

Erasmo fought tooth and nail with Petrenko Tetiana of Ukraine for the silver medal as they both submitted similar scores in the squat (85kgs) and deadlift (132.5kgs). Petrenko, however, edged out Erasmo in the bench press, 62.5 kgs to 60 kgs to take silver.

It was Erasmo’s first international stint, but she didn’t disappoint although there were anxious moments when her first two attempts were red-lighted (foul) due to technicalities.

To lessen the pressure, Team Philippine coaches advised her to try the more manageable 85-kg lift as she still wound up with a medal.

Due to difficulties in travel and strict health protocols brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ompod and Erasmo arrived in Halmstad just hours before weigh in, depriving them of enough rest. They still delivered though as they put on a fitting follow-up to an auspicious start by fellow Filipino Agustin Lorenzo.

Lorenzo took the silver by lifting 147.5 kilograms in the bench press event of the men’s 74-kg Sub Junior division (14-18 years old), way ahead of Finland’s Kujala Elmeri, who lifted 135 kgs. 

Kalogjera Teo of Croatia took the gold with a world record lift of 170 kgs in the division.

It was actually an awkward start for Lorenzo, whose first attempt of 142.5 kgs was red-lighted due to technicality. He gained his bearing on his second try, before eventually improving his third lift to 147.7 kgs for the silver finish.

Powerlifting competition is different from weightlifting that has the standard events of Clean and Press, Snatch and Clean and Jerk.

While it is not played in the Olympics, powerlifting is part of the World Games which is also played every four years.

Topics: Veronica Ompod , 2021 World Classic Powerlifting Championships , Jane Erasmo

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