32nd SEAG gold medalist: Cebu’s Elreen Ando grateful for all the support
CEBU CITY, Philippines— Cebuana olympian Elreen Ando has expressed her utmost gratitude to everyone who supported her in her record-breaking golden lift in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) on Sunday in Cambodia.
The 24-year-old Ando of Barangay Carreta, Cebu City broke the 2021 SEA Games record of Vietnam’s Hoang Thi Duyen during the Hanoi Games to bag the gold medal in the women’s 59-kilogram division in the 32nd SEAG.
Ando lifted a total of 216kgs, eclipsing the 2022 SEA Games record of Hoàng Thị Duyên in both the snatch and clean & jerk.
In a lengthy post on her Facebook account, Ando, who is a student-athlete of University of Cebu and a Coast Guard reservist, thanked her loved ones, coaches, and officials of the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) for her first SEA Games gold medal.
“Una sa tanan, dako nakong pasalamat sa ginoo nga iya kung gi hatagan ug kusog bisan paman ug unsa akong mga naagian. Dili nako makab ot ang (gold) kung wala siya sa akong kiliran. Magpa salamat sad ko sakung papa boboy, kay kahebaw ko usa sad siya nagpalipod nako, this is all for you pa. Dugay na kayni nimo nga pangandoy nakab-ot najod natu kung unsa atung goal. Ikaw akong gi kuhan ug kusog ug inspirasyon sa tanan,” Ando wrote on her post.
She also thanked her Cebu coaches Ramon Solis, Christopher Bureros, and Gary Hortelano who were with her since she was first discovered in 2012 from a grassroots program here.
“I couldn’t have done it without you. Your words of encouragement, your presence at my games. Sa sakripisyo sa trainings bisan paman naa koy failure but still ni salig gihapon mo sa akoa, wala mo nawagtangan ug paglaom,” Ando said.
“Lasty, to my family, thank you sa support always kamo akong usa nga gi kuhaon ug kusog, salamat sa always nga supporta and to my LOMI Abegail Latonio Dejito Thankyou so much lablabsa pag motivate always. Hindi hihinto, pag hindi ginto,” she added.
Ando’s gold medal wasn’t just about breaking the SEA Games record. It was extra special for her after she suffered an injury in December’s 2022 World Weightlifting Championships in Bogota, Colombia.
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