Sarno faces little challenge in capturing weightlifting crown

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PHNOM PENH—It didn’t matter that Vanessa Sarno felt pain in her left hamstring as the pride of Tagbilaran City powered her way to a record-breaking gold medal performance weightlifting at the 32nd Southast Asian Games on Monday.

“It’s a little bit painful but I was really determined to get the gold medal,” Sarno told BusinessMirror.

The 19-year-old again topped the women’s 71-kg category with ease at the Olympic Stadium coming off a stint at the Asian championships in Jinju, South Korea, where she bagged three silver medals.

Sarno cleared 105 lbs in the snatch on her third attempt to shatter her own 104-lb record she set last year. She then lifted 120 lbs on her first attempt in the clean and jerk to seize a total of 225 for the gold.

She didn’t push herself any further thus passing up on the chance to break her own SEA Games’ records in the clean and jerk (135 kgs) and total lift (239 kgs).

“She could have gone for the record, but we didn’t want to put her in any risk,” Sarno’s coach Tony Agustin said. “She just came from Jinju where the competition level was that high.”

Sarno didn’t have to exert herself becauser her rivals were simply outclassed.

Thipwara Chontavin of Thailand clinched silver with just 208—17 lbs behind Sarno—followed by Indonesian Restu Anggi with her 206 total (19 behind).

“I didn’t have enough sleep coming here but I just told myself to enjoy the competition,” she said.

Sarno bagged the Philippines’ second weightlifting gold a day after Elreen Ando’s record-smashing performance in the -59 kgs class.

The weightlifting team also had four silvers, courtesy of Angeline Colonia (women’s 45 kg), Lovely Inan (women’s 49 kg), John Febuar Ceniza (men’s 61 kg) and Rosalinda Faustino (women’s 55 kg).

Kristel Macrohon tries to add the + 71 kg women’s class gold and John Dexter Tabique the men’s 89 kgs title to the Philippine haul on Tuesday.

Image credits: Roy Domingo

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