American Weightlifting history was made this week in Las Vegas.
The 2019 Youth Weightlifting Championships concluded on Friday, and the American team finished in first place for both the men and woman’s teams. This was the first time for either accomplishment since the Youth World Championships were first held in 2009.
The American team was led by 7 athletes who collected a total of 16 medals between the snatch, clean and jerk and total. They are:
- Kaiya Bryant (49KG) – C&J Silver & Total Bronze Medals
- Ryan Grimsland (67KG) – C&J Bronze Medal
- Olivia Reeves (71KG) – Snatch, C&J & Total Silver Medals
- Dade Stanley (81KG) – Snatch, C&J & Total Silver Medals
- Yulia Jun (81+ KG) – Snatch & Total Silver Medals, C&J Bronze Medal
- Nia Walker (81+ KG) – C&J Silver Medal, Snatch & Total Bronze Medals
- Morgan McCullough (96KG) – C&J Silver Medal
Bryant and Stanley became the 3rd and 4th American athletes, respectively, to medal in the overall total at the Youth World Championships. They join CJ Cummings (2016 & 2017 Youth World Champion) and Harrison Maurus (2017 Youth World Champion, 2016 runner-up) with that distinction. Bryant’s coach, Kerri Hanebrink Goodrich, became the first American female to coach an athlete to a world medal in the total, in any age group (Youth, Junior, or Senior).
Many of these same athletes will next be in competition at the Youth Pan-American Championships to be held this August in Ecuador. As a weightlifting country, America will look to build off of this impressive accomplishment at the upcoming Junior World Championships this June in Fiji, as well as the Senior World Championships this September in Thailand.
All of these events will help athletes earn qualifying points towards next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. At the 2018 Junior World Championships, Team USA was the women’s world champion, while the men finished in 4th place overall. At the 2018 Senior world Championships, Team USA finished in 5th place overall for the women, while the men’s team was outside the top six.
Altogether nearly 200 athletes, representing nearly 50 countries around the globe, competed over the past week in Las Vegas. Noticeably absent from the competition were teams from Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The North Korean federation chose to not field a team at the 2017 Senior World Championships, which were also held in the United States.
The top male athlete at the 2019 Youth World Championships was Saikhan Taisuyev of Kazakhstan; the 17 year old totaled 288KG in the 67KG category, which equated to 623 Robi points. The top female athlete was Kumushkhon Fayzullaeva of Uzbekistan. The defending Youth Olympic Games champion totaled 215KG in the 64KG category, which equated to 574 Robi points.
Featured image: @usa_weightlifting on Instagram