MANILA – After a successful campaign in Albania, the national team will try to reap more honors when they see action in the Asian Youth and Junior Championships scheduled from July 28 to Aug. 5 this year in New Delhi, India.
Prince Keil Delos Santos, Eron Borres, Angeline Colonia, Rosalinda Faustino and Albert Ian Delos Santos — all gold medal winners in the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Championships at the Ramazan Njala Sports Complex in Durres City, Albania — are scheduled to arrive in Manila on Thursday evening.
Prince Kiel Delos Santos and Borres, both 15 years old, were entered in the men’s 41kg category.
Delos Santos of Angono, Rizal topped the snatch (92kgs) and despite finishing second to Borres in the clean and jerk (113kgs), had the best total of 205kgs.
Borres, a product of Cebu City’s grassroots program, was impressive in his first international tournament. He submitted the second-best total (201kgs) after finishing third in snatch (87kgs) and first in clean and jerk (114kgs).
Borres, a grade 9 student at the Carreta High School, is a gold medalist in the Philippine Sports Commission-organized Batang Pinoy National Championships in Baguio City in 2018 and Vigan City, Ilocos Sur in 2022.
Zamboangueños Albert Ian Delos Santos, Colonia and Faustino delivered as expected.
Delos Santos, son of former national lifters Alvin and Diwa, bagged the gold medals in clean and jerk (149kgs) and total (259ks) in the men’s 61kg category.
The Grade 11 student at the Universidad de Zamboanga became a member of the youth team in 2020 and joined the 2021 Youth World Championships in Saudi Arabia.
Colonia ruled the snatch (72kgs) and was second in total (155kgs) in the women’s 45kg category while Faustino bagged the gold medal in total (182kg) and the silver medal in clean and jerk (100kgs) in the women’s 55kg category.
Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) president Monico Puentevella was happy with the accomplishment of his athletes.
“Five young lifters represented this country in the World Youth Championships in Albania and everyone went home with a gold or two golds for a total of seven golds. This is our future. We’ve proven our point. We’re ready for Los Angeles 2028. Even our boys are catching up with the girls. Thanks to our world-class coaches from all over the country. Thanks also to our sponsors PSC, MVP Sports Foundation and SM. Mabuhay ang mga parents. But most of all to God be the Glory. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas,” said the IWF Hall of Fame awardee.
Meanwhile, Colonia and 15-year-old Faustino are also preparing for their debut in the Cambodia SEA Games in May this year.
While she was a little disappointed with her performance in Albania, the 16-year-old Colonia said she will try to be ready for the challenge ahead.
“My record dropped so I am not confident right now. But I will train harder,” Colonia said in an interview on Wednesday morning.
“Most of my opponents in Cambodia are senior so I need to work hard to be competitive. My goal is to lift 75kgs (snatch) and 90kgs (clean and jerk),” added Angeline, the youngest sibling of 2016 Rio Olympics veteran Nestor Colonia.
Last year, Colonia captured three medals in the Youth 40kg category of the 2022 Asian Youth and Junior Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
She grabbed the gold medal in the snatch, lifting 62kgs to erase the Asian Youth and World Youth records of 61kgs set in 2018. She got a silver medal in the clean and jerk (72kgs) and went on to claim the gold medal in total (134kgs).
In the same tournament, Faustino won three gold medals while Prince Keil Delos Santos garnered two bronzes in the 49kg category of their respective divisions. (PNA)
TRIUMPHANT. A group photo of the national team which participated in the World Youth Weightlifting Championships in Durres, Albania on March 21-27, 2023. The victorious team (from left) are Coach Diwa Delos Santos, Eron Borres, Prince Keil Delos Santos, Albert Ian Delos Santos, Rosalinda Faustino, Angeline Colonia and Coach Gregorio Colonia. (Contributed photo)