THERE is another potential heiress to Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn F. Diaz’s throne as queen of Philippine weightlifting.
Her name is Rose Jean Ramos and, just like Ms. Diaz herself, a product of that world-class lifter-producing city in Zamboanga.
The 17-year-old pocket-sized wonder showed her true worth to be one of the possible successors to Ms. Diaz’s throne as she captured a pair of gold and silver medals in the World Youth Championships in Guanajuato, Mexico on Monday.
Ms. Ramos struck gold in the clean and jerk with a lift of 85 kilograms and in total weight with a 155kg while settling for the silver in the snatch with a 70kg in the women’s 45kg class.
She blew away the field that included Venezuelan Kerlys Montilla and Indian Soumya Sunil Dalvi, who wound up second and third in total with 153kg (71kg in snatch and 82kg in clean and jerk) and 148kg (65kg, 83kg), respectively.
It was a reprise of her performance from last year’s edition in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where she bagged mints in snatch and total and silver in clean and jerk.
She also snared a gold and silver in the world championship, hosted by Peru and done online due to the pandemic, the previous year that underscored her ability to follow in the footsteps of Ms. Diaz.
“We’re on a roll,” said an ecstatic Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella, who put the medals on Ms. Ramos’ neck himself during the awarding ceremony.
Mr. Puentevella sees great potential in Ms. Ramos to make it to the 2024 Paris Olympics alongside several other bets headed by Ms. Diaz and Vanessa Sarno, an equally promising 18-year-old lass from Tagbilaran, Bohol who ruled her heavier division in the Hanoi Southeast Asian Games last month and the Asian Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan a year back.
“Here we come, Paris 2024. We’re beating the best in the world. We can do it,” said Mr. Puentevella, who thanked coach Allen Diaz, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation for the support.
With the likes of talented youngsters like Mses. Sarno and Ramos, the future is secured when the time comes Ms. Diaz would call it a day. — Joey Villar