Boholana weightlifter Vanessa Sarno bagged a gold medal at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, further solidifying her status as the heir apparent to Olympic weightlifting champion Hidilyn Diaz.
Sarno delivered a record-breaking performance in the women’s 71kg at the Hanoi Sports Training and Competition Centre on Saturday.
The 18-year-old who hails from Tagbilaran City set a new SEA Games record in snatch (104kg), clean and jerk (135kg), and total score of 239kg.
“Thank you very much to all who believed in me,” said Sarno in Filipino in an interview with Inq Sports. “I know that I can do it because we had a great training camp (at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex). When I got the snatch, I know I will win the jerk.”
It was the Philippines’ second weightlifting gold in the SEA Games. The first one was clinched by Diaz, who like Sarno, outclassed her opponents.
Following her SEA Games golden finish, Sarno set her sights on the Olympics.
She said she is planning to join all the qualifying events for Paris 2024, following in the footsteps of Diaz.
“She (Hidilyn) said in sports your life will change (for the better),” said Sarno thanking the Philippine Sports Commission and the MVP Sports. “This is it. I won the SEA Games. Thank to those who supported me.”