Knee injury hampers lifter Colonia for sorry finish in SEA Games
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Weightlifter Nestor Colonia fully believed he could have delivered the gold had he been 100% healthy. But he wasn't, and so he crashed to 5th place – second from last – in the 56kg event at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games here.
Colonia, 25, had long been ruing his injured right knee, which had to be drained of uric acid in late July. The Rio Olympian whose injury occured in training, told Rappler then he no longer wanted to go to the SEA Games.
Colonia said he was only up to 85% a day before competition. It was clear his injury severely hampered him, so the result did not surprise him.
"Hindi ko nabuhat 'yung 100% ko rito e. Kung nabuhat ko 'yung 100% ko easy lang ang gold e," he told reporters on Monday, August 28, at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre.
(I was unable to lift my 100% here. If I was able to do that the gold would have been easy.)
The 2015 World Championships clean-and-jerk bronze medalist was unable to lift his first snatch attempt at just 110kg. At full health, Colonia said his first snatch attempts are usually at around 120kg already. Instead, Colonia managed only successful lifts at 110kg and then a final 113kg for his snatch.
It looked like he may have gotten a rhythm after he registered his first clean-and-jerk attempt at 140kg. But failed to lift 146kg in his second and third tries.
When in peak form, Colonia said his usual first attempt at the clean-and-jerk is at 150kg, which would make for a combined 270kg – better than the 269kg lift of gold medalist Thach Kim Tuan from Vietnam.
"Nahirapan ako tumayo (It was hard for me to stand up)," he said.
It's been a rough year for the Zamboanga City native since the Rio Olympics, when was unable to make a single successful lift in the clean-and-jerk (he attempted 154kg lifts).
Colonia said he wasn't disappointed by the result, probably because he expected not to medal, but his frustration from the failed clean-and-jerk lifts still showed.
"Okay lang (It's okay)," he said plainly.
Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz was on hand to support her teammate, assisting him backstage and prompting him during the lifts.
Diaz, who is no stranger to tough years in her career, offered this advice to Colonia:
"For now he needs to rest but he needs to find out what he should address with what happened here," she said in Filipino. "Then go back to his passion, his dreams, and what he wants in life. Looking forward to the 2019 SEA Games, I hope we can both bring home the gold medals for the Philippines."
Colonia, a 2015 Asian Championships gold medalist, will take time off to rest and heal in the coming months. He said he may sit out the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games next month and will instead focus on the World Championships happening from November 28 to December 5.
"He's going to rest a little bit but he'll be back in the Asian Games (in 2018)," Philippine Weightlifting Federation president Monico Puentevella told reporters in Filipino, his arm over Colonia, rubbing his shoulders.
"If he has a good run in the next few months and in the World Championships, he'll be back in the Asian Games. He just lacked preparation here and the opponents were really tough, which is actually the Olympic group. After a few months of rest he'll be back preparing with Hidilyn Diaz for the World Championships." – Rappler.com