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Ando lifts Asiad bronze


HANGZHOU, China—Elreen Ann Ando picked up a bronze medal in women’s weightlifting on Monday night in the 19th Asian Games.

The 24-year-old Tokyo Olympian lifted a total of 222 kilograms built on the strength of her 96 in the snatch and 126 in the clean and jerk to redeem herself from a luckless stint in the Asian championships early this year.

“Nalungkot talaga ako noong nag-zero ako sa Asian championships. Nawala ang lungkot at napalitan ng saya dahil sa medalya na ito,’’ Ando said.

It was the first medal for the national lifters after Hidilyn Diaz, John Ceniza and Rosegie Ramos all missed the podium.

But more importantly, Ando’s bronze is the eighth overall for Team Philippines, which also has a gold medal courtesy of pole vaulter EJ Obiena and a silver from sanda fighter Arnel Mandal.

North Korea’s Unsim Rim posted a new Asian Games record in the snatch (111kgs), clean and jerk (140) and total (251) on her way to the gold while Pei Xinyi of China settled for the silver with a total of 234.

Ando faltered in the women’s 59kg in the Asian championships held in Jinju, South Korea prior to her SEA Games title.

“Gusto kong bigyan ng reward at birthday gift ang sarili ko dahil matagal ko na gustong magkabahay,’’ said Ando, who is set to receive a cash windfall of P500,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission for her feat and a lot more from private sponsors and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Ando temporarily switched to 64kg in the Asiad and will revert to 59kgs in an effort to continue her Olympic qualification bid for the next year’s Paris Olympics.

She will clash head on with Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo in the same weight category in a pair of world cup tournaments in Doha, Qatar in December and in Thailand in February.

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