Caine Wilkes Wins Pan American Championships Gold for Team USA!

American weightlifter Caine Wilkes has a lengthy resume that includes multiple National Championships and even a few of the heaviest clean & jerks in American history. Not, he can add a new title to that list: his second Pan American Championship.

But after Thursday’s 5-for-6 performance that ended with a 175kg snatch — good for bronze — and a 219kg clean & jerk — good for gold — Wilkes walked away in Miami with overall gold for Team USA.

Watch all his competition lifts below:

Wilkes had a hard-fought battle with defending Pan American Champion Fernando Salas of Ecuador. Salas took gold in the snatch and headed into the clean & jerks with a three kilo lead over Wilkes. But after Salas missed his final clean & jerk attempt, Wilkes nailed the clutch 219kg clean & jerk to guarantee himself the gold in the total.

Wilkes’ three medals and overall win were crucial in helping Team USA’s men lock up the second place team spot behind Colombia. Team USA’s women finished in 4th overall.

The men’s superheavyweight session was particularly interesting in that the athlete with the highest lifts and total — Brazilian Fernando Reis — was not eligible to compete for medals or points, though his total could be used toward international qualification for future meets (like the upcoming 2017 World Weightlifting Championships). Reis was entered as an “extra” lifter for Team Brazil after initially being left off the squad and then successfully petitioning the Pan American Federation for inclusion in the competition.

Reis finished the competition with a 198kg snatch — good for a new Pan American record — and a 235kg clean & jerk.

Correction: This article initially stated this was Wilkes’ first Pan American Championships. He also won in 2014.

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BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting. David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com. In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and Fortune.com, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day. David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.