‘WITH GOD’S HELP’ Defeated and deflated, Sarno vows to bounce back stronger

PHOTO CAPTION: Vanessa Sarno, shown here during the last Asian Championships, finished out of the podium in the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan but vowed to perform better in succeeding high-profile meets./iNews (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer)

(June Navarro/Inquirer Sports)

Vanessa Sarno, projected as the heir to Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, came home dismayed in her recent trip to the International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

But instead of sulking in a corner, the current Asian champion in the women’s -71-kilogram weight class has licked her wounds and vowed to make amends in a big way in succeeding high-profile meets.

“I made a promise to myself that I will do whatever it takes just to make it there and I’m willing to sacrifice everything just to fulfill that promise,” said the 18-year-old Sarno after missing out on a podium finish on the world stage.

“Maybe that game wasn’t really for me, I know it happened for a reason. It took me days or even a week to accept it, but then I realized that you will never succeed if you don’t fail. Failure is one of the keys to success,” added the promising lifter from Tagbilaran City in Bohol.

Sarno placed tied for third in her weight category with Patricia Sternius of Sweden and Olivia Reeves of the United States with identical totals of 231 kgs but wasn’t able to secure a medal and wound up fifth via the countback.

All was not lost, however, for Sarno after breaking her own national records.

Sarno’s 103 kg lift in the snatch and 231 kg total effort reset the national mark of 101 kgs and 229 kgs she accomplished in the Asian championships also in Tashkent early this year.

“I did my best and I hope that I still made our country proud despite the fifth-place finish,” said Sarno after wrapping up her first campaign in the world championships last week.

“But someday, God willing, I will make it there. I will become a champion one day,” she added while expressing gratitude to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas president Monico Puentevella and coaches Richard Agosto, Christopher Bureros and Robert Colonia.

Sarno, who picked up the sport when she was nine and became a PSC Batang Pinoy Champion in 2014, is a favorite to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics along with Tokyo Olympian Elreen Ando and Kristel Macrohon. (June Navarro/Inquirer Sports)

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