Two Filipino athletes saw action with Elien Rose Perez competing in the women's 48-kg category and Olympian Nestor Colonia in the men's 56-kg category on the first day of the weightlifting competition in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia on Monday.
Colonia, however, stumbled out of the competition after placing seventh overall. He only lifting 113 kg in the snatch, a far cry from the 120 kg he cleared in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
He quickly fell behind in the competition behind Asian Games record holders Om Yun Chol of Korea and Thach Kim Tuan of Vietnam. He tried to make up the deficit in clean and jerk where he lifted 140kg in his first try but failed on the next two tries of 150kg.
Om, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, finished first with a combined 287 kg. Thach won the silver at 280 kg, while Bin Suwoto Wijo of Indonesia won the bronze.
"I'm disappointed with my performance but I could not do anything more," admitted Colonia after the competition. "After coming off a knee injury, I tried my best to get to 100 percent condition but I only managed 90 percent. If I reached my personal bests of 124 in snatch and 158 in clean and jerk, it would have been enough for a silver medal."
Colonia will now be preparing for the IWF World Weightlifting Championship in November as he aspires to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, Perez cleared 65 kg in her first attempt at snatch before setting a new personal record of 69 kg in her second lift.
She did even better at clean and jerk as she lifted 80 kg in her first try and 85 kg in her third.
Days before her 20th birthday, Perez was the third youngest competitor in the field and she was also a newbie in the weight category as she often competed at 53 kg before.
"Before the Asian Games, no one was competing in the 48-kg category. In our team, I have the lowest body weight and with Hidilyn Diaz at the 53-kg category, we decided I'll drop down in weight," Perez said.
She placed 11th in the field as she lifted a total of 154 kg, while the gold medalist Ri Song Gum of Korea had a total of 199 kg.
Still, the young athlete was happy with her performance.
"I got my personal best today. For snatch, my record was 68 and now it's 69. In clean and jerk it was 82 and now it's 85," said the teenager. "I'll train harder to make sure that in the next Asian Games, I'll be able to take home a medal. It was an honor to face Olympic medalists and I was so nervous but also very proud."