Hidilyn Diaz Naranjo (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Nine athletes, including 2022 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo, will compete in the World Championships scheduled from Dec. 5 to 16 in Bogota, Colombia.

The World Championships is the first qualification tournament on the road to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Diaz-Naranjo is entered in the women's 55-kg category which she ruled in the Tokyo Olympics but is not included in Paris.

The 10 weight class featured in Paris are men's 61-kg, 73-kg, 89-kg, 102-kg and +102-kg; and women's 49-kg, 59-kg, 71-kg, 81-kg and +81-kg.

Also going to the World Championships are Rosegie Ramos and Lovely Inan (women's 49-kg), Elreen Ando (women's 59-kg), Vanessa Sarno and Kristel Macrohon (women's 71-kg), Nestor Colonia (men's 55-kg), John Febuar Ceniza (men's 61-kg) and Dave Lloyd Pacaldo (men's 67-kg).

The other members of the delegation headed by Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas President Monico Puentevella are coaches Ramos Solis, Richard Pep Agosto, Joe Patrick Diaz, Julius Irvin Hikaru Naranjo, sports psychologist Dr. Karen Katrina Trinidad and nutritionist Jeaneth Aro.

"We are optimistic for a good showing in the World Championships to be led by Hidilyn and Vanessa. This is why we skipped the Asian Championships to concentrate on our goal of qualifying," said Puentevella in an interview on Monday.

"This world championship is a prelude to the Paris Olympics already. Where we meet the best in the world. At the same time, we’ll know who’s ready and also improve our qualifying chances," added Puentevella, who was inducted into the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Hall of Fame on June 27 this year.

Sarno won three gold medals (Youth 71-kg) and Ramos bagged three gold medals (Junior 49-kg) at the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last July. (PNA)