John Ceniza secures spot for Paris Olympics

John Ceniza during the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, October 1, 2023. (PSC-POC Media/File)

Filipino weightlifter John Ceniza has officially qualified for the Paris Olympics, marking his debut in the prestigious international sporting event.

At the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup held in Phuket, Thailand, the 26-year-old athlete lifted a total of 300kg in the 61kg division, surpassing his personal best and securing his position within the Top 10 athletes in his category.

Ceniza showcased remarkable strength and technique, achieving 132kg in the snatch and a formidable 168kg in the clean and jerk.

His performance at the World Cup not only represents a personal triumph but also places him as a strong contender on the Olympic stage.

Monico Puentevella, President of the Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas, and Philippine Olympic Committee President Bambol Tolentino were present to witness Ceniza’s accomplishment.

Puentevella holds high hopes for Ceniza’s potential to clinch an Olympic medal, a feat that would make him the first male Filipino weightlifter to do so.

While Ceniza has already punched his ticket to Paris, fellow weightlifter Rosegie Ramos is on the cusp of qualifying.

Although Ramos topped Group B of the 49kg division, she currently stands at 11th in the Olympic qualifying rankings, just shy of the top 10.

The weightlifting community eagerly awaits the final list of qualifiers from the International Weightlifting Federation, set to be released in May, with high hopes for the inclusion of more Filipino athletes like Ramos.

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