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Powerlifter Ancheta pockets 2 bronze medals in Japan

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The Philippines won two bronze medals courtesy of Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta at the Worlds Para Powerlifting Open/Asia-Oceania Pacific Championships in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka, Japan on Wednesday.

Ancheta, the pride of Kiangan town in Ifugao province, lifted 105kgs in her second attempt to finish third among six entries in the women’s +86kg event.

China’s Xuemei Deng won the gold medal with a new Asian record of 146kgs, which she did in her third attempt. She erased the 135kgs mark set by her compatriot, Ruifang Li, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia two years ago.

South Korean Hyun-jung Lee registered the second-best lift of 114kgs in her second attempt to capture the silver medal.

Iraq’s Ali Huda (93kgs) was fourth followed by Kazakhstan’s Mariya Auyezova (85kgs) and Thailand’s Netsuda Panna (80kgs).

The top three finishers in each event were awarded two medals — one for the Worlds Para Powerlifting Open and one for the Asia-Oceania Pacific Championships.

Meanwhile, Ancheta’s teammates — Achelle Guion, Agustin Kitan and Romeo Tayawa — missed the podium in their respective events.

Guion lifted 70kgs to finish fourth among eight entries in the women’s 45kg event, where gold winner Lingling Guo of China registered 113kgs to break her World and Asian records of 110kgs set in Mexico City last year.

Indonesian Ni Nengah Widiasih won the silver after lifting 101kgs while Chinese Meijiao Chen took the bronze with her 95kgs lift.

Kitan was eighth among 11 entries in the men’s 54kg event. China’s Jian Wang won the gold in 173kgs, Vietnam’s Bonh An Nguyen (172kgs) bagged the silver while Kazakhstan’s David Degtyarev (160kgs) got the bronze.

Tayawa failed to make a good lift in the men’s 45kg event won by Jordan’s Omar Sami Hamadeh Qarada, who lifted 175kgs.

China’s Yu Zheng (158kgs) won the silver and Iran’s Ali Reza Izadi clinched the bronze with a new Junior World Record of 140kgs, eclipsing the 131kgs record set by another Iranian, Mohsen Bakhtiar, in Dubai four years ago.

The national lifters were accompanied by coach Ramon Debuque and National Paralympic Committee representative Irene Soriano-Remo.

“I am happy with the result of the competition. In Rio (2016 Summer Olympics) and Mexico (2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships0, all my lifts were not counted. This time, I did a good lift,” said the 44-year-old Ancheta in an online interview on Wednesday night, after the awarding ceremony.

“Ang sarap ng pakiramdam syempre. Nagpukpukan na naman kami ng taga-Korea for silver and she got it. But I am happy with my bronze (It feels good, of course. Me and the Korean fought again for the silver and she got it. But I am happy with my bronze),” said Ancheta, a seven-time champion at the ASEAN Para Games.

The tournament in Japan served as a tune-up for the Filipino lifters in their forthcoming campaign in the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“Maghaharap-harap uli kami ng mga nakalaban ko dito sa Jakarta. Kumbaga, patikim pa lang ito. Hindi pa tapos ang laban (We will be facing each other again in Jakarta. This is just a sample. The battle is not yet over),” said Ancheta, the first Filipino medalist in the Paralympic Games when she won the bronze in Sydney, Australia 18 years ago.

Ancheta is hoping to earn the needed points to boost her chances of qualifying in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. She is looking forward to join the tournaments in Dubai and Kazakhstan next year, both of which are Olympic Games qualifiers.

“The road to Tokyo Paralympics is still long and getting steeper every time. There are tournaments in Dubai and Kazakhstan next year which are both qualifiers for Tokyo 2020,” said Ancheta, a veteran of the 2004 (Athens) and 2012 (London) Paralympics.

“Patindi nang patindi ang labanan (The competition is getting tougher). Only the Top 8 in the world per category will be allowed to compete. Ang dami ng lifters ngayon pero limited ang slots kaya pahirapan (There are many lifters now but the slots are limited so it’s very hard),” said Ancheta, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer degree at St. Paul’s College in Quezon City.

Guion, for her part, said she is also ready for the Asia Para Games scheduled October 6 to 13.

“Reding-ready na po ako sa Asian Para Games. Tuloy-tuloy lang uli ang training namin. Bilog ang barbell, lahat pwedeng mangyari (I am ready. We just go on with the training. The barbell is round, anything can happen),” said Guion, a business management graduate at the Trinity University of Asia.

Both Ancheta and Guion have won silver medals in the Asian Para Games in 2010 (Guangzhou, China) and 2014 (Incheon, South Korea).

Ancheta also won the silver medal in the Far East and South Pacific (FESPIC) Games in 1999 (Bangkok, Thailand) and 2002 (Busan, South Korea). The FESPIC Games was replaced by the Asian Para Games in 2010. (PNA)