Elreen Ando showed her promise after providing a strong performance in her Olympic debut in the women’s 64 kg class of the 2020 Olympic weightlifting tournament at the Tokyo International Forum, Tuesday.
Ando separated herself from the middle of the pack to finish in seventh place among the 10 competitors after a successful lift of 222 kg in total, a huge 9-kg leap off her Asian Championships last April.
The 22-year-old was placed in a jam after capping her snatch with a 100-kg lift, a huge six-kilogram heavier than her 94-kg lift in that Tashkent competition, where she earned the right to be in this Games.
Ando started her clean and jerk strong, lifting 118 kg, and zoomed into the lead afterward with five more lifters yet to take the stage for their first attempt of the section.
The Cebu-native could not lift the 122 kg in her second attempt but eventually took care of the said weight after a few minutes of rest to close out her Olympic debut strong.
“Hinog na si Elreen sa 2024 Paris Olympics,” said weightlifting chief Monico Puentevella. “She is our project for 2024, together with Vanessa Sarno. Magaling lang talaga kaya nasama na kaagad sa Tokyo.”
Canada’s Maude Charron broke through the Asian domination of the sport with the gold of a total of 236 kg, four kilograms clear of silver medalist Italy’s Giorgia Bordignon.
Reigning Asian champion Chen Wen-Huei settled for the bronze after she could not lift 130 twice, and ended with 230 kg in total.
Ando is actually targeting to compete in the next edition of the Games – in Paris in 2024 – but got the qualification nod in this Games off her strong showing in the Asian Championships.