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Ando books Paris berth as Diaz falls short of 5th Olympic stint

MANILA, Philippines, April 4 ------ Paris beckons for Filipina weightlifter Elreen Ando. Ando booked a return trip to the Olympics as she saved the best for last in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup in Phuket, Thailand, finishing seventh in the women’s 59kg class. 


The pride of Cebu cleared 100kg in snatch and 128kg in clean and jerk for a total of 228kg to crack the top 10 of the IWF Olympic Qualification Ranking (OQR) and secure her Paris Games berth. But with Ando qualifying for Paris, Hidilyn Diaz fell short of her bid to make her fifth straight Olympics as only one athlete per country per weight category will advance. Diaz, who owned the No. 8 spot in the OQR with a total lift of 224kg prior, cleared just 222kg (99kg in snatch and 123kg in clean and jerk) as she settled for 11th place in the World Cup. 


A pair of clean and jerk attempts at 127kg in a bid to raise her OQR score to 226kg ended unsuccessful for the 33-year-old Diaz. Ruling the 55kg division in the Tokyo Games to become the Philippines’ first Olympic champion, Diaz needed to move up to 59kg as her former weight category got scrapped. Ando, 25, became the second Filipino weightlifter to punch a ticket to Paris after John Ceniza, who earned his Olympic berth in the men’s 61kg class. 


The IWF will release its final and official ranking list in May. Ando, who shattered the Southeast Asian Games record last year, now aims to surpass her Olympic debut performance where she finished seventh in the Tokyo Games in 2021. Also bound for Paris for Team Philippines are pole vaulter EJ Obiena, gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan, and boxers Eumir Marcial, Nesthy Petecio, and Aira Villegas. 




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