Team USA didn’t waste any time making a statement at the 2019 Pan American Weightlifting Championships on Day 1 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Alyssa Ritchey and Morghan King both earned spots on the podium in the -49kg body weight category.
Ritchey went six-for-six and not only swept gold for the day, but also set four new records. Last week, before the Pan Am Championships, Ritchey spoke with BarBend about how her training has been going.
“It’s been amazing to see my body perform so well and get so strong during this training cycle. I’m excited to see what my body is capable [of] at this competition because my positions in my fits have improved immensely and my leg strength feels unreal right now…I am so strong,” Ritchey told BarBend ahead of the Pan American Weightlifting Championships.
Ritchey set a new Senior American record with her 107 kg clean and jerk set and also set a record for her 190 kg total. Her scores in the clean and jerk and total were also good enough to break two Pan American records. The previous Pan American records for the clean and jerk and total were held previously by Beatriz Piron of the Dominican Republic.
In an interview with USA Weightlifting about her total Ritchey stated, “I thought 190kg would maybe happen at the end of 2019. I still can’t believe I did it, I’m in awe.”
As for King, she also had a strong performance on the day. The 2016 Olympian took home silver in the clean and jerk posting a 102kg lift. She also finished with a bronze for her total with 180 kg.
“I’m just so happy about this whole experience. I’ve never been on the podium at an international meet, so this feels great. It’s been a long road back since the Olympics,” King told USA Weightlifting.
These medals are huge for Team USA, as the Pan American Championships are a gold level qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Today, Team USA has five athletes set to take the platform. To follow the rest of Team USA and the Pan American Championships you can watch tune in live USA Weightlifting’s website.
Feature image courtesy of the USA Weightlifting Instagram account @usa_weightlifting.