PH weightlifting Bohol native Vanessa Sarno‘s triple gold medal feat capped the Philippines’ rousing campaign in the recently-concluded Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships at the Uzbekistan Sports Complex in Tashkent City.
The 17-year-old Sarno, highly-touted as the next Hidilyn Diaz lifted a total of 230 kilograms (kg)- 100kg. in snatch and 130kg. in clean and jerk to capture the title in the junior women’s 71kg. category.
Indonesian bet Anggi Restu of Indonesia settled for silver with 212kg. (92-120) while Korea’s Kim Hye-min salvaged the bronze with 211kg. (93-118).
Weightlifting gold medalist Sarno on Facebook
Sarno, on her Facebook, penned a lengthy message, thanking God, her coaches, Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine weightlifting team, Bohol Weightlifting team, friends, families, her boyfriend, and her mother Emelita whom she dedicated her victory, saying, “To my mama Emelita Palomar Sarno ma thank you kaayo ma dli nako mag drama ani kay mo hilak niya ka hahaha I love you and I miss you ma 😘❤️ thank you kaayo sa pag support sa akoa pirmi ma, para ni nimo tanan ma (To my mother Emelita Palomar Sarno, Ma, thank you very much. I don’t want to be dramatic over this as I might just cry. I love you and I miss you, Ma. Thank you for always supporting me. This is all for you)”
She also thanked her nutritionist Ashly Villa for guiding her in reducing weight and psychologist Dr. Karen Trinidad for always checking up on her, always reminding her to be ready every day, and for believing that she can do it.
The five-foot-four Sarno also gave herself a pat for fighting, not giving up, and believing in her capability.
“I deserve this because I work hard for this.❤️🇵🇭 Maraming maraming salamat po🇵🇭❤️❤️ PHILIPPINES, once again this is all for you!!!🇵🇭🇵🇭🇵🇭 PANALO PO NATENG LAHAT ANG ITO (This is our victory)!!!!,” she said.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, also lauded Sarno for giving honor to the country.
“Sa iyong pagkapanalo sa snatch, clean and jerk, at overall title sa women’s -71kg division ay nakapaghakot ng kabuuang 15 ginto ang Team Philippines sa nasabing patimpalak. Angat talaga ang talento ng mga atletang Pilipino! Mabuhay kayong lahat (With your win in the snatch, clean and jerk, and overall title in the women’s -71kg division, Team Philippines won a total of 15 gold medals in the said competition. Filipino athletes are really talented! Long live every one),” Go posted on her Facebook.
The country’s other medalists were Angeline Colonia (two golds and one silver, youth women’s 40kg. category), Rose Jean Ramos (three golds, youth women’s 45kg. category; one gold, one silver, and one bronze, junior division), Rosalinda Faustino (three golds, youth women’s 49kg. category), Rosegie Ramos (three golds, junior women’s 49kg. category), and Prince Keil delos Santos (2 bronzes, youth men’s 49kg. category).
The Asian Weightlifting Federation feted Sarno as the best junior women lifter while Colonia of Zamboanga City was the best youth women lifter.
In May, Sarno also pocketed gold in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
SWP president Monico Puentevella was all praises for Sarno whom he said is ready for Paris 2024 although she has to work harder.
The recent Tashkent meet was the country’s best finish.
Puentevella said, “In the past, even one gold by Sarno in North Korea made me happy. Now with 15, what more can we ask? Fifteen times our anthem was played. To all the coaches under Tony Agustin, our Board, parents, Philippine Sports Commission, and MVP Sports Foundation, salamat (thank you). But most of all, to God be the glory. Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028, here we come. Para sa bayan ito (This is for the country).”
Ex-national lifters Nicolas Jaluag and his wife Liza Danao train Sarno in their gym in Dauis, near Tagbilaran City. The latter is an incoming Grade 11 student at the Bohol Institute of Technology International College.