HIDILYN DIAZ-NARANJO resumes her quest for a fifth consecutive Olympics—for a potential second-straight gold medal—in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Grand Prix II that starts on Monday at the Holiday Villa Hotel and Residence in Doha, Qatar.
Diaz-Naranjo, winner of the country’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2020 two years ago, competes in women’s -59 kgs on Wednesday, hoping to lift numbers to remain—or improve—on her world ranking of No. 7 that keeps her well within the qualifying quota—top 12—for her division in the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Seven other Filipinos are also hoping to qualify for Paris in Doha, each of them required to compete in five to six qualifying tournaments for the Olympics.
First up on Monday is rising Angono (Rizal) pride Lovely Inan, 18, a 32nd Southeast Asian Games silver medalist, who’s vying against a 17-lifter women’s -49 kgs Group B field.
Rosegie Ramos competes in the same women’s -49 kgs class on Tuesday in Group A which has seven participants.
Ramos’s younger sister Rose Jean sees action in women’s -45 kgs while on Wednesday, it will be the turn of John Febuar Ceniza in men’s -61 kgs (Group A) and Tokyo Olympian Erleen Ann Ando in the same women’s -59 kgs Group A field on Friday.
On Sunday, Jinju Asian Championships silver medalist Vanessa Sarno and Kristel Macrohon compete in the women’s -71 kgs class.
The team, according to Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas secretary-general Patrick Lee, is coached by Antonio Agustin Jr., Christopher Bureros and Diwa de los Santos.
Rosegie Ramos and Sarno are currently ranked ninth in the -49 kgs and -59 kgs classes, respectively.
Ando, on the other hand, is ranked No. 10 in the -59 kgs class and Ceniza sixth in men’s -61 kgs.
Two more Paris qualifiers are scheduled after Doha—the Tashkent Asian championships from February 20 to 26 and IWF World Cup from April 2 to 11 in Phuket.
The Doha qualifiers gather 206 entries from 79 countries in the men’s division and 176 participants from 72 nations in the women’s side.