Asian Games: Competing at only ‘90%’, weightlifter Nestor Colonia rues lost medal

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2018 11:41 PM

Asian Games: Competing at only ‘90%’, weightlifter Nestor Colonia rues lost medal 1
Nestor Colonia pictured here at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Pinoy weightlifter failed to medal in the men's 56-kilogram category in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on Monday. File/Stoyan Nenov, Reuters

JAKARTA—Nestor Colonia took a big risk when he attempted to lift 150 kilograms in his second try at the clean-and-jerk.

The 26-year-old successfully lifted 140 kg in his first attempt, but knew he could not settle for anything less than 150 kg in his next tries.

“Para mahabol ’yung medal,” said Colonia, who lifted only 113 kg in the snatch, which put him at sixth place heading into the clean-and-jerk.

“Kasi, kung titira po ako ng 145 (kg), bale-wala lang ’yun,” he explained. “So kailangan namin humabol.”

He was barely able to lift the bar in his first attempt at lifting 150 kg. In his second try, Colonia could not successfully lift the weights above his head either.

He would up settling for a combined lift of 253 kg — way below his personal best, set in 2015, when he lifted 282 kg. That would have been good enough to earn him a silver medal in the 2018 Asian Games. On Monday, however, he settled for seventh place in the 56-kg division of the 2018 Asian Games.

“Dismayado ako, kasi 'di ko nakuha 'yung 100% ko,” said Colonia, who won gold in the 2015 Asian Championships, and bronze in the 2015 World Championships in Houston. 

Unfortunately for Colonia, he has struggled in international competition due to injuries since then. He thus failed to live up to expectations in the 2016 Rio Olympics and did not even make it to the podium of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Even now, he has not yet returned to his peak form since recovering from a knee injury.

“Pag nakuha ko kasi 'yung 100% ko, nasa silver talaga ako. So ngayon hanggang 90% lang ako kaya dismayado ako. Kasi galing ako sa injury,” Colonia said.

According to Colonia, he has only been lifting 140 kg in training, but was confident that he could have lifted 150 kg had he only been in top shape.

“Kaya naman,” he said. “Parang kinulang lang talaga.”

Samahang Weightlifting Federation (SWF) president Monico Puentevella knew that Colonia at his 90% could not live up to his usual standard.

“He tells me he's 90% lang, so 90% is not the former Asian gold medalist before,” said Puentevella of the 26-year-old Colonia.

Puentevella is encouraging Colonia to keep on training, however, and try to bounce back in next year’s SEA Games that the Philippines will be hosting.

“I'm telling him that he has to try more for the SEA Games, he has to continue working harder for the SEA Games, para sa bayan talaga ang SEA Games,” he said. “Dito, malakas ang kalaban. World champion ‘yan, Olympic gold.”

“At least sa SEA Games, walang North Korea - ‘yan ang hinahabol ko,” Puentevella added. “Tapos, he’s not getting any younger, so he has to peak now.”

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