Elreen Ando broke through with her first-ever Southeast Asian Games title in record fashion by winning the women’s under-59 kg gold in the 32nd edition on Sunday at the Olympic Complex in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The 2020 Olympian needed to lift 118 in the clean and jerk to secure the gold and set a new Games record.
She accomplished exactly that, dethroning Vietnam’s Hoang Thi Duyen.
Ando’s victory gave the country its first weightlifting gold and its 36th title in these Games, putting an end to her back-to-back heartbreaking silver finishes in the under-64 kg category in the 2019 home Games and the 2021 Hanoi Games.
Throughout the afternoon, Ando flawlessly completed every lift, with her best effort at the snatch being 98.
Adding her successful lift in the clean and jerk, her total reached 216, which was a remarkable 11 kg higher than the Vietnamese titleholder’s and six kg above the latter’s record set in the 2019 home Games.
Ando’s triumph also ended the two-day wait for weightlifting gold, as four of her teammates secured silver medals, including 15-year-old prodigy Rosalinda Faustino, who finished second in the under-55 kg category earlier in the day.
John Ceniza, Angeline Colonia, and Lovely Inan also earned silver medals in the men’s under-61 kg, women’s under-45 kg, and women’s under-49 kg categories, respectively. Ceniza, who had recently broken his own national record in the Jinju Asian Championships, set new marks in the clean and jerk and total lifts during these Games.
The 25-year-old increased his total by four kg to 165, setting a new national record of 169 and achieving a total of 297.