SOUTHEAST Asian Games gold medalist Kristel Macrohon leads a seven-member team that will join Rio 2016 silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz in the 2021 Asian Weightlifting Championships set from April 15 to 25 in Tashkent.
Joining Macrohon who moved up to the 76 kgs weight class are her women teammates 2019 SEA Games silver medalist Elreen Ann Ando (64 kgs), Mary Flor Diaz (45 kgs), Elien Rose Perez (49 kgs), Margaret Colonia (59 kgs) and Vanessa Sarno (71 kg.
Competing in the men’s division are 2019 SEA Games silver medal winner John Febuar Ceniza (61 kgs) and John Dexter Tabique (96 kgs).
The weightlifters, along with their coaches Gary Hortelano and Nicolas Jaluag, will be arriving in Manila from the provinces on Tuesday, the same day that they will be tested for Covid-19.
Macrohon, who hails from Pasobolong in Zamboanga City like Diaz, is hoping to pull off a strong performance for a possible ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.
Diaz will be completing the sixth and final International Weightlifting Federation-sanctioned tournament, a prerequisite for qualifying for the Olympics. She doesn’t have to make the podium to make it to Tokyo and all she needs is to step up the ramp and lift weights.
“We will know in Tashkent if we’re qualified for an Olympic spot,” the 24-year-old Macrohon said. “We really need to perform well before knowing fate for Tokyo.”
Macrohon won the women’s 71-kg gold medal in the 2019 SEA Games.
Diaz arrived in the Uzbek capital over the weekend with strength and conditioning coach Julius Naranjo and Chinese Coach Kaiwan Gao.