Three Paris-bound Olympic lifters ready — national coach


Elreen Ando, Vanessa Sarno, and John Febuar Ceniza. | Facebook photos

CEBU CITY, Philippines — National weightlifting coach Antonio Agustin Jr. is optimistic that one of the three Olympic weightlifters will bring home a medal in the upcoming Paris Olympics next month.

Agustin Jr., one of the national weightlifting coaches for Elreen Ando, John Febuar Ceniza, and Vanessa Sarno, is currently in Cebu to oversee the 2024 National Weightlifting Open at the SM Seaside City Cebu.

This major weightlifting event started last Monday and will end on Friday, June 14.

In an interview with CDN, Agustin Jr. revealed that Ando, Ceniza, and Sarno are already prepared to compete in the Paris Olympics. He and fellow national coach Christopher Bureros will accompany the three weightlifters to Paris.

One of the biggest concerns in the weightlifting community right now is Ceniza’s shoulder injury, but Agustin assured everyone that the Cebuano weightlifter is already recovering.

“Sa ngayon okay na yung training ni Febuar. Nag-commission kami ng physical therapist kasi malapit na kami makaalis. Bago kami makaalis, makaka-recover na siya sa shoulder pain niya,” said Agustin Jr.

Ceniza, a first-timer in the Olympics, will compete in the men’s 61-kilogram division. He qualified for the Olympics last April during the final International Weightlifting Federation World Cup in Phuket, Thailand.

He placed sixth overall in the qualifying. Fellow Cebuano Elreen Ando also punched a ticket to the Olympics for the second time, while Sarno of Bohol is a first-timer.

Ando will compete in the women’s 59 kg category, while Sarno will vie in the women’s 71 kg category.

“Talagang very eager na silang lumaban. We’re working on this for almost two years for the first Olympic qualifying sa Bogota, Colombia. Naka-process na yan, so ready na talaga ang mga bata,” added Agustin Jr.

“Definitely maganda yung showing ng mga athletes natin. We’re very optimistic kaya ng mga athletes natin maka-generate ng medal. It’s hard work and good luck. Alam naman natin ang kalaban natin nag-training din. Kung sino yung swerte at nagtrabaho ng mabuti, talagang mananalo.”

Agustin revealed that they will depart for Paris, France, on June 26, as instructed by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).


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