CEBU City pride John Febuar Ceniza bagged a silver medal in the İnternational Weightlifting Federation Grand Prix II on Thursday morning in Doha and is now looking at a possible qualification in next year’s Paris Olympics.
“All he needs to do is hold the line, sustain his great showing and participate in the next two qualifiers,” national coach Tony Agustin told BusinessMirror on Thursday via internet call from the Holiday Villa Hotel & Residence in Qatar.
Ceniza didn’t medal on his 133 kgs in snatch and 165 kgs in clean and jerk in the men’s 61 kgs category but his total lift of 298 kgs was enough for him to finish behind gold medalist Myong Jin Pak (305 kgs) of North Korea and ahead of bronze winner Aniq Bin Mohamad 296)of Malaysia.
The 25-year-old Cambodia Southeast Asian Games silver medalist Ceniza was fourth in snatch and fifth in clean and jerk where Myong lifted 134 kgs for bronze in the snatch and 171 kgs in clean and jerk for gold.
Mohamad, on the other hand, was ninth in snatch (126) and silver in clean and jerk (170).
Indonesia’s Ricko Saputra, Vietnam’s Van Vinh Trinh and China’s Fabin Li didn’t finish in Group A action of the 61-kg class, allowing Ceniza and company to advance from the lower groups.
Ceniza is running sixth after three Olympic qualifiers and is expected to move up to No. 5 after the Doha qualifier.
He needs to maintain his ranking and at the same time compete in the Asian championships from February 3 to 10 in Tashkent and IWF World Cup from March 31 to April 11 in Phuket to make it to Paris.
The top 12 in the world rankings qualify for next year’s Olympics.
“So far, Ceniza’s Paris Olympics slot is safe unless the unexpected happens,” Agustin said.
The Philippines has now four silver medals in Doha counting Rose Jean Ramos’s three second-place finishes in the non-Olympic 45-kg women’s class on Wednesday.
Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo and fellow Tokyo Olympian Erleen Ann Ando plunge into the women’s 59-kg category on Saturday.