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Bad knee hurts bid of Colonia

NESTOR Colonia

NESTOR Colonia

By JEROME LAGUNZAD

Rio De Janeiro Olympics veteran Nestor Colonia, the country’s lone entry in weightlifting in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has virtually ruled out any podium finish in the men’s 56-kilogram division.

Colonia said he’s nursing a nagging right knee injury due to a high level of uric acid that left his training program in complete disarray since last month.

“Hindi ko po masasabi kung makakapwesto ako ngayon. Mahirap po talaga mag-training lalo’t may iniinda ka talaga,” said a subdued Colonia, 25, in a phone interview yesterday, roughly 24 hours since arriving in Manila from his hometown Zamboanga City.

An Airman second class in the Philippine Air Force, Colonia has been tipped as a strong gold medal prospect after ruling the same weight division in the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Phuket, Thailand two years ago in impressive – and surprising – fashion.

He also claimed the bronze medal in the World Weightlifting Championships in Houston, Texas that same year, putting him on track to surpass his fourth place finish during the 2011 Indonesia SEAG meet, co-hosted by Jakarta and Palembang.

That was until he struggled to perform his usual routine in their training session supervised by his uncle, 1988 Seoul Olympics veteran Gregorio, in early July.

“Ayon sa mga doctor, mataas po ang uric acid sa tuhod ko. Pero wala naman pong muscle tear,” Colonia shared. “Simula noon, panay light training na lang po ang mga ginagawa ko.”

What also makes him more wary is the fact that Colonia will have to deal with familiar foes who have made good account of themselves the last time they met.

“‘Yung mga nakalaban ko sa Olympics (last year), kasali rin ngayon sa SEA Games,” he said, referring to Thailand star Sinphet Kruaithong and Tran Le Quoc Toan of Vietnam who finished third and fifth overall, respectively in the Brazil Olympiad.

Colonia, however, is still holding into any hope – as slim as the weightlifting bar may look – that he might still pull off the improbable.

“Tuloy pa rin ang laban, Sir. Hindi natin masasabi na baka matalo ko sila, tulad nung nangyari nung last time,” he concluded.

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