FRESH from her strong Asian Weightlifting Championships performance in Jinju, South Korea, teenage sensation Vanessa Sarno sets her sights of powering the Philippine team to golden performances in ongoing 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The 19-year-old Tagbilaran, Bohol native had an impressive three-silver medal effort in the 81-kilogram class of the Jinju tilt that earned her precious qualifying points to next year’s Paris Olympics.
It also reinforced notions that she will be one of the possible heiresses to Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz’s throne as the country’s next queen of the sport.
And the giggly Asian champion should be the heavy favorite to extend her SEA Games reign after dominating last year’s Hanoi meet on her debut in the biennial competition.
“We’ll win the gold in Cambodia, maybe two to three,” said Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas President Monico Puentevella.
Ms. Sarno, along with Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando and the rest of the team, will fly to the Cambodian capital tomorrow, a day before weightlifting unfurls at Hall F of the Chroy Changvar Convention Center.
Ms. Diaz skipped the Phnom Penh festivities to focus on going for a spot to the Olympics for an unprecedented fifth straight time. — Joey Villar