Paris Olympics

Elreen surpasses Hidilyn: Ando books Paris berth as Diaz falls short of 5th Olympic stint

Delfin Dioquino

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Elreen surpasses Hidilyn: Ando books Paris berth as Diaz falls short of 5th Olympic stint

LIFT. The Philippines' Elreen Ando in action during the 19th Asian Games.

Kim Kyung-Hoon/REUTERS

Cebuana weightlifter Elreen Ando books a return trip to the Olympics as she saves the best for last in the IWF World Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Paris beckons for Filipina weightlifter Elreen Ando.

Ando booked a return trip to the Olympics as she saved the best for last in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup in Phuket, Thailand, finishing seventh in the women’s 59kg class on Wednesday, April 3.

The pride of Cebu cleared 100kg in snatch and 128kg in clean and jerk for a total of 228kg to crack the top 10 of the IWF Olympic Qualification Ranking (OQR) and secure her Paris Games berth.

Ando eclipsed her previous best lift of 222kg she set in the World Weightlifting Championships in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in September.

But with Ando qualifying for Paris, Hidilyn Diaz fell short of her bid to make her fifth straight Olympics as only one athlete per country per weight category will advance, with the World Cup serving as the last qualification event.

Diaz, who owned the No. 8 spot in the OQR after recording 224kg in Riyadh, cleared just 222kg (99kg in snatch and 123kg in clean and jerk) as she settled for 11th place in the World Cup.

A pair of clean and jerk attempts at 127kg in a bid to raise her OQR score to 226kg ended unsuccessful for the 33-year-old Diaz.

Ruling the 55kg division in the Tokyo Games to become the Philippines’ first Olympic champion, Diaz needed to move up to 59kg as her former weight category got scrapped.

Ando, 25, became the second Filipino weightlifter to punch a ticket to Paris after John Ceniza, who earned his Olympic berth in the men’s 61kg class.

The IWF will release its final and official ranking list in May.

Ando, who shattered the Southeast Asian Games record last year, now aims to surpass her Olympic debut performance where she finished seventh in the Tokyo Games in 2021.

Also bound for Paris for Team Philippines are pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan, and boxers Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, and Aira Villegas. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.