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Elreen Ando in, Hidilyn Diaz out of Paris Olympics after IWF World Cup clash

Elreen Ando beat Hidilyn Diaz for the Philippine representative to the Paris Olympics women's 59-kilogram event. POC
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Hidilyn Diaz, the "golden girl" for the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics after giving the country its first-ever Olympic gold in 2021, missed out on qualifying for this year's Paris Olympics.

However, the future could be now for Philippine weightlifting as the baton has seemingly been passed to Elreen Ando.

Ando will be the Philippine representative in the Paris Olympics women's 59-kilogram weightlifting event after beating Diaz based on the final ranking during the IWF World Cup in Phuket, Thailand on Wednesday night.

Ando finished seventh overall out of 44 contenders divided into four groups based on their skill level, while Diaz, the 2021 Olympic champ in the women's 55-kilogram event, placed ninth in Group A and 11th overall.

Ando cleared 228 kilograms in total, 100 in snatch and 128 in the clean-and-jerk, while Diaz lifted 222 kgs, 99 in snatch and 123 in C&J, just two kilos short of her Olympic record 224 back in 2021.

With the 55-kilogram division scrapped for this Olympic edition, Diaz had to move up to the 59-kg group in a bid for a second straight Olympic gold.

However, it meant she had to face off with Ando for that one Olympic spot if ever a Filipino qualifies through the world rankings.

Before the IWF World Cup, Diaz was eighth in the world in the 59-kilogram division, within the Top 10 cutoff, while Ando was 11th.

However, following the World Cup results, Ando is now expected to overtake Diaz in the world rankings pending the upcoming release next month, giving her the Olympic berth in the process.

Ando will enter the Olympics for the second straight time, while Diaz's streak of Olympic appearances was snapped at four.

China's Luo Shifang won the IWF World Cup women's 59-kg event after setting a new world record of 248 total kilograms.

North Korea's Kim Il-Gyong placed second with 240 kgs, while Canada's Maude Charron was third with 236.

Out of the podium finishers, only Charron's place in the Paris Olympics has been secured at the moment.

Also sealing their places in the Olympics through the World Cup were Chinese Taipei's Kuo Hsing-Chun, who finished fifth, Venezuela's Anyelin Venegas, who came in sixth, Nigeria's Rafiatu Lawal, the winner of Group C, Colombia's Yenny Alvarez, and France's Dora Tchakounte, the Group B winner.

With Tchakounte qualifying through the world rankings, the supposed assured spot for the host country will now be given to another weightlifter through the universality place.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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