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Ando bronze finish in Asiad: UC exec says it felt like a gold medal win

With Ando’s achievement, University of Cebu officials plan to build new weightlifting gym

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | October 05,2023 - 07:00 AM

UC athletic chief on Ando's bronze finish in Asiad: It felt like a gold medal win. In photo is Elreen Ando biting her bronze medal which she earned in the Asian Games women's weightlifting event. | Photo from Ando's Facebook page

Elreen Ando bites her bronze medal which she earned in the Asian Games women’s weightlifting event. | Photo from Ando’s Facebook page

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters Athletic Director Jessica Honoridez calls Elreen Ando’s bronze medal win in the 19th Asian Games’ weightlifting competition as nothing short of amazing and felt like a gold medal win.

Honoridez said this as Ando stopped a Philippine medal drought in the weightlifting event after the country’s top bet, Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, settled for fourth place in the women’s 59kg division.

READ: Cebu’s Elreen Ando scores bronze in Asian Games

Ando lifted 222kgs for the bronze

Ando got a bronze finish on October 2, 2023, in the Asian Games women’s 64 kg weightlifting competition in Hangzhou, China.

The 24-year-old Ando of Barangay Carreta in Cebu City lifted a total of 222kgs behind gold medalist North Korea’s Rim Unsim (251kgs) and silver medalist, China’s Pei Xinyi (234kgs). 

Aside from Honoridez, the coaches of Ando were also very proud of the Cebuana weightlifter’s achievement in the Asian Games.

Proud to represent UC, too

During the awarding, Ando did not hesitate to wear the yellow printed shirt of the University of Cebu (UC) to represent her alma mater. 

“Ma amaze jud ka, through her, we got our first medal in the Asian Games weightlifting. Nindot nga siya instrument para maka medal ta kay wala nakakuha si Hidilyn, si Sarno ug Ceniza wala sad. So, who else can give medal to us?,” said Honoridez.

(You will be really amazed, through her, we got our first medal in the Asian Games weightlifting. She is a nice instrument for us to have a medal because Hidilyn did not get one, Sarno and Ceniza did not also get medals. So, who else can give a medal to us?)

READ: Hidilyn Diaz ‘still happy’ after fourth place at Asian Games

‘Wa ta mazero’

“Maka wow jud ka at least through Elreen wala ta mazero, ang bronze mura na gyud og gold. Happy kaayo mi sa UC. Sa among end pud, wala jud hunong among support ug prayers para niya,” she said.

(You can say wow that at least through Elreen we did not get a zero, and the bronze feels like it is gold. UC is really happy. In our end, our support and prayers for her continued.) 

READ: Cebuano weightlifter Ceniza reflects on Asiad ‘mistakes’: I’ll do better next time

UC’s plans for new weightlifting gym

Ando’s bronze medal further strengthened UC’s decision to build a brand new weightlifting gym which is proposed to be constructed at the UC Main campus in downtown Cebu City or at the METC campus in Barangay Mambaling.

This plan has been on UC’s drawing board for quite a while as the number of their varsity weightlifters including Cebuano John Febuar Ceniza who placed fourth in the men’s 61-kilogram division had grown recently. 

Honoridez said that UC’s top brass, Candice Gotianuy strongly considered to find a new home for their weightlifting team after Ando’s bronze medal win. 

This way, they can further elevate their training and cater to more prospects under UC’s program. 

READ: Thirsty for redemption, Cebuana Elreen Ando breaks SEA Games records in golden lift

Coaches congratulated too

“I also congratulate the coaches for their program and their consistency. Inspired kaayo ang mga bata sa coaches sa UC, nidaghan na ang mga bata, we need a bigger space for them to train,” said Honoridez.

(I also congratulate the coaches for their program and their consistency. The children in UC are more inspired by their coaches, the number of children have grown, we need a bigger space for them to train.)

Currently, UC’s weightlifting team trains at the back of the Cebu Coliseum. 

Coaches: Hard work paid off

Meanwhile, Ando’s coaches, Ramon Solis and Christopher Bureros who are also from UC told CDN Digital that her hard work paid off 10 fold. 

It can be recalled that Ando suffered a shoulder injury during the IWF World Championships in 2022 in Bogota, Colombia. 

For Bureros, Ando’s latest achievement is a testament of her unwavering commitment and relentlessness in training, especially during her recovery from her injury. 

“She is a perfect example of the quote “Hard work pays off”. This achievement is a testament of unwavering commitment, relentless effort, and unyielding determination. It’s been an incredible journey, and I couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishment. This bronze medal is a well-deserved reward for her dedication to the sport,” said Bureros. 

Ando’s dream came true

Meanwhile, Solis is thankful for his prized ward’s achievement. 

“Una sa tanan, nagpasalamat ko og dako sa kadaugan ni Elreen (Ando). Nalipay kaayo ko na natuman ang iyang mga damgo. Isip usa sa iyang coach, nakita nako nga aduna gyud siya igong katakus in the field of weightlifting inubanan sa pagampo,” said Solis. 

(First of all, I am very grateful for the win of Elreen (Ando). I am so happy that her dream has been fulfilled. As one of her coaches, I saw that she had enough talent and skills in the field of weightlifting and accompany these with prayers.)

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TAGS: 19th Asian Games, bronze medal, Elreen Ando, UC athletic director Jessica Honoridez, weightlifting

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