Pinoy weightlifter John Ceniza clinches Paris Olympics berth

Pinoy weightlifter John Ceniza clinches Paris Olympics berth

Pinoy weightlifter John Ceniza clinches Paris Olympics berth

Filipino weightlifter John Ceniza will see action in his very first Olympics later this year in Paris, France.

Ceniza, 26, lifted a total of 300kg in the 61kg division of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup in Phuket, Thailand, the last qualifying event for the Paris Olympics.

He improved upon his personal best of 298kg and did enough to stay in the Top 10 ranking of athletes in his weight division.

Ceniza lifted 132kg in snatch and 168kg in clean and jerk.

"Sinabi ko lang sa sarili ko na kaya ko ito," an ecstatic Ceniza said after lifting 300kg fo the first time in an international competition. "Talagang nothing is impossible basta work hard lang. Sobrang happy ko."

Ceniza has previously won silvers in the 2019 and 2023 Southeast Asian Games, and just missed out on the podium in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China last year. 

Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas President Monico Puentevella believes that Ceniza has a chance to reach the podium in Paris, which would make him the first male Filipino weightlifter to win an Olympic medal.

Puentevella witnessed Ceniza's feat together with Philippine Olympic Committee President Bambol Tolentino, who expressed his confidence that more Filipino lifters will qualify for the Summer Games.

So far, Ceniza is the only Filipino weightlifter assured of a spot. Rosegie Ramos, who competes in the 49kg division, dropped to 11th in the Olympic qualifying ranking even after topping Group B of her weight class on Monday. 

Ramos' personal best of 191kg was surpassed by two other athletes in Group A, pushing the young Filipina out of the top 10.

Ramos still has a chance to enter the top 10 to qualify for the Paris Olympics if an athlete pulls out or opts out of the competition.

The International Weightlifting Federation will release the final list of weightlifting qualifiers for the Paris games in May.