Cebuano weightlifter Elreen Ando landed in 7th place in the women’s weightlifting 64-kg Group A event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held at the Tokyo International Forum.
Ando started the event in the snatch with a 96kg snatch. She failed in her second attempt at 99kg lift, then made a comeback with an impressive third and final 100-kg snatch.
For the clean and jerk, she first executed a clean 118-kg. Her second attempt at 122-kg was a no lift, then a clean break for her final 122-kg attempt. She lifted a total of 222-kg.
The Cebuano native was up against weightlifters from Canada, Italy, Cuba, Germany, Turkey, Great Britian, Ecuador, Colombia, and Taiwan. Canada's Maude Charron won the Olympic gold, Italy's Giorgia Bordignon the silver, and Taiwan's Wen-Huei Chen the bronze
This year’s games serve as the young athlete's Olympic debut.
Before her Olympic bout, the 22-year-old nabbed two silvers and one bronze medal in the 2021 Asian Weightlifting Championship, and a silver medal in the 2019 SEA Games.
She started weightlifting when she was a junior high school student at the University of Cebu (UC) after she was discovered by weightlifting coach Garry Toleno.
Meanwhile, she’s also credited Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz as a steady source of motivation throughout her training and Olympic bout.
“Inspirasyon ko po talaga si ate Hidy matagal na. Siya ang dahilan kung bakit ako nag-qualify sa Tokyo, dahil sa kanyang motivation sa amin at dedikasyon sa paglaro,” Ando had shared.
She is set to represent the country in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
We're proud of you, Elreen!
Banner photo by Chris Graythen/Pool/ AFP