Paris Olympics

Weightlifter John Ceniza books Paris Olympics ticket

JR Isaga

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Weightlifter John Ceniza books Paris Olympics ticket

GOOD LIFT. Filipino weightlifter John Ceniza in action in the 2021 IWF World Championships.

Screenshot from IWF livestream

(2nd UPDATE) John Ceniza, a 26-year-old rising Cebuano weightlifter, finishes well within the top 10 qualification cutoff for the Paris Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – Cebuano weightlifter John Ceniza booked his ticket to the Paris Olympics after a strong performance in the 2024 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup men’s 61kg event in Phuket, Thailand, on Tuesday, April 2.

The 26-year-old rising star now joins six other elite Filipino athletes who secured their spot in the sport’s biggest stage set this July.

Ceniza, who failed in his third snatch attempt at 134kg to settle at 132kg, rebounded well in the clean and jerk, clearing 168kg in the third lift for an exact total of 300kg.

Only China’s Li Fabin (312kg), USA’s Hampton Morris (303kg), and North Korea’s Pak Myong Jin (301kg) finished ahead of Ceniza, putting the Filipino bet well within the IWF’s top 10 qualification cutoff.

At sixth place in the IWF Olympic Qualification Ranking (OQR) going into the World Cup, Ceniza climbed to No. 5 as he eclipsed the 298kg total lift he set in the IWF Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar in December. 

The OQR ranks athletes – one per category and per country – with the highest total lift achieved in any of the Olympic qualification events. 

Li (314kg), Morris (303kg), Italy’s Sergio Massidda (302kg), and Indonesia’s Eko Yuli Irawan (300kg) are ahead of Ceniza in the OQR.

The IWF will release the final and official OQR in May. 

Other Filipino Olympians gunning for glory in Paris are pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan, and boxers Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, and Aira Villegas.

More standout weightlifters aim to secure Paris berths, with Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz (59kg), Vanessa Sarno (71kg), Elreen Ando (59kg), and Kristel Macrohon (71kg) still waiting in the wings. –

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