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PH weightlifters pocket 18 medals in S. Korea

The Philippines bagged 18 medals, including three golds, in the Asian Cup and Asian Inter-Club Weightlifting Championships held from October 29 to November 2 in Yanggu County, Gangwon Province, South Korea.

In an interview on Monday, Elien Rose Perez said she topped the women's 53kg category to collect the gold medals in snatch, clean and jerk, and total.

Perez, 18, from Tagbilaran City in Bohol, said her teammates, Ma. Dessa delos Santos of Zamboanga and Elreen Ann Ando of Cebu, also delivered the medals in the 2-in-1 tournament sanctioned by the Asian Weightlifting Federation at the Yongha Weightlifting Gymnasium in Yanggu county.

De los Santos, a Grade 12 student from Universidad de Zamboanga, pocketed the bronze medal in the women's 58kg category, while Ando took the bronze medal in the women's 63kg category.

The three lifters won three silvers each in the Asian Inter-Club competition.

Mary Flor Diaz and Margaret Colonia, the other two athletes in the five-member national team coached by bemedalled athlete Ramon Solis and Allen Diaz, did not make the podium.

Last August, Perez saw action in the Summer Universiade in Chinese Taipei where she finished ninth in the tournament billed as the Olympics of student-athletes. She won three bronze medals in the Senior, Youth and Junior Asian Championship in Kathmandu, Nepal last July.

Dessa is the eldest of two children of many-time SEA Games gold medalist Alvin delos Santos and former national lifter Helen Dawa. Her first stint abroad was at the 2016 Rio Olympics qualifying tournament in Uzbekistan followed by the World Youth Championship in Malaysia where she finished fourth.

She won three silvers in the 2016 Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championship at the Otaku City Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

Jean Malanum/PNA