Vanessa Sarno: Rising Above Injury and Weight Class Shifts at the Asian Games

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: November 21, 2023

Vanessa Sarno, the young weightlifting sensation, isn’t sweating her move to a heavier weight class at the 19th Asian Games. Instead, it’s her recent elbow injury that’s got her on edge.

Vanessa Sarno lifting weights
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Sarno, a former Asian champion, sustained the injury at the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships in Riyadh.

“This is the first time that I got injured, so it has become traumatic for me,” she confessed, ahead of her participation in the Hangzhou Asiad.

The 19-year-old prodigy injured her left elbow during the women’s 71kg snatch event at the world championships. Since then, a nagging pain has been her constant companion.

Sarno, a two-time Southeast Asian Games winner and the 2020 Asian champion in her regular weight category had to shift to the 76kg class.

This is a first in her budding career. But she’s taking it in stride, sticking to her training program.

“I’m okay at 76 (kgs). I’m not familiar with the opponents who I will face, but [that’s an] easier [problem] compared to losing weight,’’ she said.

The women’s 71kg category was dropped from the Hangzhou Games’ weightlifting event, which kicks off on Saturday. Despite the challenges, Sarno remains undeterred, ready to face whatever comes her way.

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