By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Convinced that weightlifter Vanessa Sarno has what it takes to become the next big thing in Philippine sports, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is ready to provide everything so she can realize her full potential.
The PSC, through chairman Butch Ramirez, vowed to give Sarno, 18, the same winning formula that helped produce world-class athletes like Tokyo Games gold medal winner Hidilyn Diaz, two-time world champion gymnast Caloy Yulo, and pole-vaulter EJ Obiena, who is ranked No. 5 in the world.
“We will support her by giving an excellent coach and exposure for the Paris Olympics,” PSC chairman Batch Ramirez said.
Sarno, who was discovered in one of PSC’s grassroots programs called Batang Pinoy back in 2014, outclassed the opposition to win the gold in the women’s 71kg.
Making her victory the more impressive – and memorable – was that she broke three meet records.
The Tagbilaran, Bohol native lifted a total of 239kg, 16 kilos heavier than silver medalist Siriyakorn Khaipandung of Thailand (223kg). Anggi Restu of Indonesia finished with the bronze (212kg).
This early, Sarno is expected to compete in tough tournaments abroad not only to toughen her but also to gain more confidence.
Prior to the SEAG, she won the gold medal at the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent,