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Ando, Ceniza vow to train hard for Paris Olympics after cash windfall 

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | April 16,2024 - 03:11 PM

Ando Paris Olympics, Ceniza vows to work harder for Paris Olympics. Elreen Ando, UC chairman Lawyer Augusto W. Go, and UC Chancellor Candice Gotianuy, and John Febuar Ceniza. | Glendale Rosal

Elreen Ando (from left), UC chairman Lawyer Augusto W. Go, and UC Chancellor Candice Gotianuy, and John Febuar Ceniza. | Glendale Rosal

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Elreen Ando and John Febuar Ceniza vowed to do their best to bring honor not just to the Philippines and Cebu, but to their ever-supportive alma mater — the University of Cebu (UC) in the upcoming Paris Olympics. 

On Monday, April 15, Ando and Ceniza and their coaches Christopher Bureros and Ramon Solis were given P200,000 each as cash incentives for qualifying for the Paris Olympics’ weightlifting competition this July.

It was announced by UC President, Lawyer Augusto W. Go, and his daughter, UC Chancellor Candice Gotianuy, in a press conference. 


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On top of that, Gotianuy announced that if Ando and Ceniza earned at least a bronze medal in their respective weight categories, they were assured of a whopping P1 million cash. 

“The P200,000 for us is already a huge help, especially, since it motivates us to work and train harder. I’m very thankful for UC’s all-out support way back when I first qualified for the Olympics in 2021. Now there are two weightlifters from UC that qualified, I’m more motivated to train harder and win,” said Ando of Barangay Carreta. 

This will be Ando’s second Olympic stint following her promising Tokyo Olympics 2022 campaign where she finished seventh overall.

Meanwhile, it will be Ceniza’s first Olympic stint. Both weightlifters earned their Olympic slots during the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup-Final Olympic Qualifiers in Phuket, Thailand. 

Ceniza finished sixth overall in the men’s 61-kilogram division by lifting a total of 300-kgs, while Ando placed seventh overall in the women’s 59-kg division with her 228-kgs total lift. 

“First of all, I want to thank UC for this. For me, I didn’t expect to qualify because of my situation before the competition. I was injured, but I still trained hard because of my coaches’ motivation, because of them I did it all. I also want to thank God because two Cebuano weightlifters will compete in the Paris Olympics, said Ceniza of Barangay Pasil. 


Ando punches second Olympics ticket as Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo misses

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When asked if UC would be willing to give more if Ceniza and Ando would win the gold medal, Gotianuy said that they would see about it. However, she and her father promised to continue giving their all-out support to their two prized varsity athletes. 

“It’s a feat in itself to be called an Olympian. So, when and I’ll say if they finish top three, we will be awarding them one million pesos. The coach will be given P200,000 as well because he was very instrumental, if not for him, it won’t happen. They are our pride, we are so happy to achieve this goal,” said Gotianuy.

Go, for his part, told Ceniza and Ando to not hesitate to approach them if they wold need help with their preparation for the Paris Olympics. 

“Whatever needs do not hesitate for a moment, not just financial but other things that we do not know, we will give you support,” said Go. 

UC is the only Cesafi member school that has an active weightlifting program with free scholarships for its varsity weightlifters. 

According to UC’s athletic director Jessica Honoridez, it’s a testament to UC’s selfless act to provide a sports program for less fortunate athletes who would want to finish their studies while becoming successful athletes. 

“Thank you always for believing in our sports program and thank you for giving opportunities to athletes. UC is the only university that believes in the capacity of giving opportunity to less fortunate athletes. Even if weightlifting isn’t part of Cesafi, UC didn’t stop continuing its support. This won’t also be possible without our dedicated coaches Ramon Solis and Christopher Bureros who extended their program to our volleyball and basketball,” said Honoridez. 

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TAGS: Elreen Ando, John Febuar Ceniza, Paris Olympics

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