THE eight weightlifters who will join Hidilyn Diaz Naranjo at the Bogota world championships are tapering down in their preparations at the training facility named after the country’s first Olympic gold medalist inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

And by the time action in the world championships start on December 5, all Filipino athletes will be in peak form, according to Samahang Weightlifting ng Pilipinas (SWP) secretary general Patrick Lee.

“They are now 99.5 percent in terms of their condition and strength on their lift, and they already got their target so far,” Lee told BusinessMirror as he monitored the athletes on Monday.

Diaz Naranjo will fly to Bogota from her US training facility in Georgia with Team HD including husband and coach Julius. The rest will travel to Colombia on Friday (Manila-Amsterdam-Bogota) via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Diaz Naranjo will still be competing at 55 kgs hoping to win the only gold medal missing from her collection so far, while Asian champion Vanessa Sarno and Kristel Macrohon will vie in the 71-kg class, Rosegie Ramos and Lovely Inan in the 49-kg category and Elreen Ann Ando in the 59-kg event.

Competing in the men’s division are Rio de Janeiro Olympian Nestor Colonia (55 kgs), John Febuar Ceniza (61 kgs) and Dave Lloyd Pacaldo (67 kgs).

“The good thing is they can execute well their lift in their first attempt, second and third attempt will be easy for them,” said Lee, who’s also part of the SWP coaching staff.

Lee said the weightlifters won’t go home empty handed, especially Diaz Naranjo.

“These is the best team of weightlifters we have assembled so far,” he said. “Our training together started last October 24 here in Manila, but all of them were in top condition because they continuously trained in their provinces.”

The world championships will be held at the Gran Carpa Americas Coferias in Bogota and will end on December 16.

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