UNHERALDED Kristel Macrohon proved yesterday that Philippine weightlifting has more to offer than the celebrated Hidilyn Diaz.
With Diaz watching and cheering from the stands, Macrohon captured the gold in the women’s 71kg division yesterday, giving the Philippines its second gold medal at the end of weightlifting action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Ninoy
Macrohon, 23, inspired by Diaz’s golden triumph last Monday, had a winning total lift of 216kg (93kg in the snatch and 123kg in the clean and jerk) to relegate favorite Thi Van Nguyen of Vietnam to the silver. Nguyen had a total lift of 214kg (92kg in the snatch and 122kg in the clean and jerk).
Nguyen failed in her last attempt at 125kg in the clean and jerk, enabling Macrohon, like Diaz a native of Zamboanga City, to escape with the golden win.
Indonesian Tsabitha Ramanadi settled for the bronze with 203kg.
Macrohon said she did not expect to win in her first SEA Games stint.
“Sobrang saya ko po talaga, hindi ko in-expect na manalo ako,” Macrohon said, shedding tears.
“Sinasabi sa akin ni coach, ‘Last na ito, ibigay mo na lahat. Bahala na kung makabuhat iyong kalaban or hindi, basta binuhat mo iyong dapat mong buhatin ngayon,’” she added.
Diaz ruled the 55kg division last Monday for her maiden SEA Games mint.
“Hindi po talaga (ini-expect na maka-gold). Ang iniexpect ko lang talaga, maka-silver ako, hindi ko ini-expect na maka-gold ako.”
With just one event left (men’s 73kg) in the four-day competition, Vietnam has clinched the overall title in the discipline with 4 gold medals on top of four silver and one bronze medals, followed by Indonesia (3-1-5) and the Philippines (2-3-2).
Myanmar had a lone silver medal in the 10-event competition while Malaysia, the 2017 host, ended its campaign with a solitary bronze to show, a far cry from its 1-1-1 performance two years ago.
“I’m very happy with the success of the weightlifting competition. We really worked hard for this. I think this is one of the most successful SEA Games as far as weightlifting is concerned,” said Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella.