TOKYO — Wait for the weight Elreen Ann Ando can deliver down the road.
Ando was good for just a seventh-place finish with a total lift of 222kg. Still, weightlifting officials felt excited in what they saw in the young Olympic debutant.
“That girl is good. Take care of her,” said Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella regarding what International Weightlifting Federation secretary-general Hasan Jalood Mohammed told him on the sidelines of the competition, Tuesday night.
“That’s the same thing Hasan Mohammed told me when he first saw Hidilyn (Diaz).”
Himself seeing Ando as a future champ, Puentevella said they’re ready to invest in the 22-year-old lifter from Cebu City.
“What I’m doing to Ando is what I did to Hidilyn,” said Puentevella, shortly before their departure for Manila from a shining show by Diaz in the Tokyo Games.
Ando was over 10 kilograms short of the winning lift of eventual 64kg gold-medal winner Maude Charron from Canada.
Silver-medal winner Giorgia Bordignon of Italy was also way ahead of Ando with a total lift of 232kg.
But Puentevella is hopeful a good program can improve Ando and make her a medal contender in the future Olympics.
Consider the poor showings of Diaz in London and China before hitting pay dirt with a silver in Rio in 2016. Ando has time to work on her lifting — and learn to carry the weight that comes with it.