Hanoi—Vanessa Sarno blew away the competition in the 71-kg weightlifting women’s finals of the 31st Southeast Asian Games with a gold and three new records shattered in a mighty show of strength that may have earned her the tag as Olympic champion Hidilyn Diaz’s heir apparent.
Only 18 years young, Sarno showed that her future is bright in the sport that Diaz earned her legend as she needed only one attempt at 124 kgs, a new SEAG record at the time of the lift, in the clean and jerk to assure herself of the gold medal.
But the teenager wasn’t through humiliating the field. pinoy lifter…Sarno beat the record she set twice, at 130 and then at 135 kgs in her second and third tries, respectively, to end with a whopping 239-kg total, also a new SEAG mark.
Thai runner-up Siriyakorn Khaipandung only had a 223-kg total output, while third placer Indonesian Restu Anggi got the bronze with a 212-kg total.
The Asian Weightlifting champion Sarno also had 104 kgs in the snatch, the first of her three new records in the competition.
“Sobrang saya po, kasi isa po ako sa mga naka-gold for the Philippines sa SEA Games. Grabe po ang preparasyon ko, masasabi ko talaga na handa ako, kaya confident ako sa lahat ng buhat ko,” said Sarno, who got words of encouragement from her idol Diaz during the competition at the Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Center. “Sabi niya, sports ang magbabago sa buhay ko, kaya lagi ko po nasa isip ‘yan.”
Sarno’s win was the Philippines’ fourth gold for the day, leaving the Filipino contingent tied in gold-medal production with Singapore at 47.
The Philippines, however, had more silver medals 64-44 at press time, along with a big 87-65 edge in bronze medals, to move up to fourth.
Three gold medals earlier in the day, courtesy of Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales in the men’s doubles of tennis, and the 10-ball singles wins of Rubilen Amit and reigning US Open champion Carlo Biado, propped up the Philippine drive.