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Ando secures ticket to Tokyo Olympics

By Mark Angelo Mañez

PHOTO: Inquirer Sports

Filipino weightlifter Elreen Ann Ando booked her ticket to the Tokyo Olympics, bolstering the Philippine contingent to 11 as the sport's governing body announced who will receive the remaining slots in the quadrennial meet, Saturday.

Ando gained her ticket via the Absolute Continental Ranking, as the International Weightlifting Federation finalized its list. 

She will join 2016 Rio Games silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, who earlier secured her fourth appearance in the Olympics in the 55kg weight class.

"To God be the Glory!" said Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella. "Our grassroots program is really starting to bear fruit. These are the successors to Hidilyn and there will be more in Paris 2024. Para sa bayan ito. Salamat sa PSC, POC, MVP Sports Foundation, our national coaches."

The 22-year-old Cebu native accumulated 2,634.9334 points, becoming the best Asian lifter in the 64kg category. She snagged two silvers and a bronze at the Olympic Qualifiers in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last month.

With the development, she will join Diaz, world champion gymnast Carlos Yulo, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Carlo Paalam and Neshty Petecio, rower Cris Nievares, taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa, and skateboarder Margielyn Didal.