THE Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) will again request a Chinese coach for the national team following the success of Gao Kaiwen in helping Hidilyn Diaz capture a gold medal in the Olympics.
SWP president Monico Puentevella said they are again on the lookout for a Chinese coach through the help of Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez that will help the next batch of weightlifters that would be groomed for the Paris Olympics in 2024.
“I’ll already be talking to Chairman Ramirez. Hihingi uli kami ng Chinese coach,” said Puentevella during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday.
A mentor of Diaz since 2018, Gao is set to return to China by the end of the month but will still be under Team HD as their consultant.
Puentevella, however, also echoed his apprehensions especially after Diaz defeated Chinese weightlifter Liao Quiyun in the women’s -55kg class for the gold medal.
Will Chinese government lend another native coach?
“I don’t know the attitude of the Chinese government. Hindi ko alam kung si coach Gao makakabalik pa siya dito kasi palagay ko, sikat na sikat na siya sa Beijing kasi ang Chinese coach ang tumalo sa kanila. Whether they will still cooperate and help us, I don’t know if the Chinese government will allow. Pero kung hindi, hihingi kami ng Chinese coach na iba. I hope the Chinese government will still give us a Chinese coach,” said Puentevella.
Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando, Asian champion Vanessa Sarno, Kristel Macrohon, and Rosegie Ramos are being groomed by Puentevella as the next batch of weightlifters that will carry the national squad in future international competitions.
Puentevella said the second option is to still hire a foreign coach not from China.
“Maraming nag-apply na foreign coaches. Hungarian, Uzbekistan,” said Puentevella.
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