SEA Games 2023

Vanessa Sarno smashes own SEA Games mark to defend weightlifting crown

Delfin Dioquino

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Vanessa Sarno smashes own SEA Games mark to defend weightlifting crown

NEXT IN LINE. Rising weightlifting star Vanessa Sarno in action during the women's - 71kg.


Rising weightlifting star Vanessa Sarno makes it look easy as she captures a second straight SEA Games gold medal with hardly any challenge

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Vanessa Sarno reasserted her status as the future of Philippine weightlifting.

Sarno defended her throne in the women’s 71kg division and reset her own Southeast Asian Games record at the Olympic Stadium here on Monday, May 15.

It felt like easy work for Sarno as she flashed a wide grin while clearing 105kg in snatch – a new SEA Games mark – and 120kg in clean and jerk for a total lift of 125kg.

The Boholana erased her previous record of 104kg in snatch, which she established when she won her first SEA Games gold in Vietnam last year.

After successfully lifting 120kg in clean and jerk on her first attempt to secure her title repeat, Sarno passed up on the opportunity to smash her SEA Games marks in clean and jerk (135kg) and total lift (239kg).

Not one weightlifter from the four-woman field posed a threat to Sarno, with Thailand’s Thipwara Chontavin finishing a far second with a total of 208kg (95kg in snatch and 113kg in clean and jerk) for the silver.

Indonesia’s Restu Anggi bagged bronze with a 206kg total lift built on a 91kg snatch and a 115kg clean and jerk.

Sarno bagged the Philippines’ second weightlifting gold a day after Elreen Ando scored a breakthrough SEA Games title in the women’s 59kg class.

In the process, the country matched its two-gold weightlifting haul last SEA Games – a campaign led by Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz, who opted to skip this edition after recently competing in the Asian Weightlifting Championships.

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

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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.