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Macrohon, Ando seek Tokyo slots at Asian tourney

After breaking two of three national records that she owns when she qualified for her fourth Olympic stint on Monday, Tokyo-bound Hidilyn Diaz now waits for the possible qualification of two more teammates in Kristel Macrohon and Elreen Ando.

The 30-year-old Diaz shattered the two marks that she set two years ago in the clean and jerk and with her total in claiming fourth place in  the women’s 55-kg of the ongoing Asian Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The Rio Olympics silver medalist qualified for the Tokyo games after completing the International Weightlifting Federation's requirement of competing in five tournaments.

 As Diaz waits  for the end of the competitions, Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Macrohon and Ando could end getting slots to Tokyo as well.

A sixth place in their respective events will allow Macrohon and Ando to join Diaz in the Olympiad in the women’s 71 kgs and the  64 kg events, respectively.

Diaz, who won’t be returning to the country anytime soon, first smashed the national mark with her 118-kg lift in the clean and jerk, surpassing her 115-kg effort during the Asian Championships in Ningbo, China in April 2019.

With her 94-kg lift in the snatch, Diaz totalled 212 kgs to settle for fourth place behind two Asian record holders from China.

She went on eclipse her 209-kg total during the Ningbo meet two years ago.

“Mission accomplished. Just to qualify, not necessarily to win,” said Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas chief Monico Puentevella, following her discussions with Diaz, who missed the bronze by just 3 kgs.

Puentevella believes that the two Chinese medallists will be among Diaz's major challenges during the Olympics.

Diaz, according to Puentevella, will head straight for Kuala Lumpur after the Asian Championships is over. Going back to Zamboanga or Manila is out of the question, given the situation concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

Staying in Malaysia for three months until the Tokyo Games will allow her to focus on her preparations.

Diaz's entry  in the Asian weightlifting meet will give her a fourth straight Olympic stint. She is currently ranked no. 5 in the IWF rankings in the women's 55 kilogram. 

Topics: Hidilyn Diaz , Kristel Macrohon , Elreen Ando , Asian Weightlifting Championship
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