By Waylon Galvez
John Fabuar Ceniza solidified his Tokyo Olympics bid after claiming a bronze medal in the men’s 61kg category of the Roma World Cup in Italy.
The 21-year-old Ceniza, who won a silver in the recent Southeast Asian Games, had a total lift of 269 kgs to earn a podium finish behind gold medalist Kim Tuan Thach of Vietnam and Shota Mishvelidge of Georgia.
Kim won with a total lift of 288 kgs while Mishvelidge settled for silver with 286 kgs.
Ceniza is hoping that his showing will give him enough points in order to compete in Olympics later this year.
He is one of eight Filipinos competing in the event, joining Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Kristel Macrohon, Elreen Ann Ando, Margaret Colonia, Mary Rose Diaz, and Nestor Colonia.
Diaz will compete in the women’s 65kg, SEAG gold medalist Macrohon in 71kg, Ando in 64kg, Margaret Colonia in 59kg and Diaz in 45kg.
The other men’s participant is Nestor Colonia, who is due to compete in the 67kg category.
Diaz has the best chance of making the Olympic grade for the second consecutive time since she is ranked fifth in the 55kg category of the International Weightlifting Federation.
She currently has 3.632.0672 points.
Leading the 55kg category are Chinese weightlifters Jiang Huihua (4,667.8878), Liao Qiuyun (4,288.9622), Zhang Wanqiong (4,212.6639) and Li Yajun (4,099.0223), while at No. 6 is Muattar Nabieva of Uzbekistan (3,519.9108),
Yenny Sinisterra of Colombia at No. 7 (3,432. 7232) and Kazakhstan’s Zulfiya Chinshanlo at No. 8 (3,413.5078).
Diaz is scheduled to compete Tuesday (Wednesday morning in Manila).