PH lifters see action in Asian Games

AKARTA — The Philippine weightlifting team kicks off its campaign in the 18th Asian Games on Monday, with Nestor Colonia and Elien Rose Perez seeing action in the afternoon at the JIExpo-Kemayoran Hall A here.

Colonia, a veteran of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, is scheduled to compete at 5 p.m. (6 p.m. Manila time) in the men’s 56kg category.

Perez, who joined the Asian Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan two years ago, is seeing action in the women’s 48kg category which is set at 2 p.m. (3 p.m. Manila time).

Both athletes are facing tough challenges in their respective divisions.

Colonia’s opponents include 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medalist Om Yun Chol from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Vietnamese standouts Tran le Quoc and Thach Kim Tuan.

The 26-year-old Om holds the Asian Games record of 298kg (total) and 170kg in the clean and jerk. He set a world record and Asian record of 171kg in the clean and jerk during the World Championships in Houston, Texas in 2015.

Thach is a two-time SEA Games champion (2017 and 2013). He has competed in four World Championships, winning three golds (snatch, clean and jerk, and total) in Anaheim, California in 2017, the same year he won the gold in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Tran is a gold medalist in the 2011 SEA Games. He has participated in the 2012 (London) and 2016 (Rio de Janeiro) Olympics.

Last year, Tran bagged two silvers (total and snatch) in the World Championships in Anaheim, California and won one silver in the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan.

Perez is among the 12 entries in the field led by North Korean Ri Song Gum, who won the gold in the 2015 World Championships in Houston, Texas, the silver in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China and three bronzes in the 2015 World Junior Championships in Wroclaw, Poland.

Perez, who was born and raised in Tagbilaran City in Bohol province, has competed in the 2016 Asian Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.