The Pan American Championships are officially underway in Guatemala City, Guatemala! Team USA has spent the last week training in Houston, Texas and from now until April 25th will be traveling to Guatemala City to compete.
Last week, BarBend caught up with a few of the more veteran members on Team USA, Alyssa Ritchey, Wes Kitts, and Jordan Cantrell and asked about their last minute preparations for this Gold level qualifying event. Now that the Pan American Championships are fully underway, we wanted to highlight and know how three of the younger Team USA members are feeling.
The Pan Am Championship runs from April 21-28 and if you want to watch live check out USA Weightlifting’s live broadcast!
Jordan Wissinger, a member of the USA Weightlifting team, told BarBend that the Pan American Championships is “a fight between my older self and my new self.” Wissinger will be competing alongside 11 other men on Team USA and 12 women.
Wissinger’s mindset for the Pan Am Championships is to push for a new personal record in his total, because to him this is a chance to beat out his older self, and older numbers.
“If that leads to a medal then that would be amazing, but the goal is to hit a new personal total,” Wissinger, who won a bronze medal at the 2017 Junior Pan Ams told BarBend. Wissinger showed up to Houston after a long day of travel and on Monday posted on Instagram that his travels to Guatemala has begun!
Jourdan Delacruz, who will be representing Team USA on the women’s side, also spoke with BarBend about how she’s feeling going into the Pan American Championships.
“Training has been going well the last couple of weeks,” Delacruz, who made her first World Championship appearance last year told BarBend. “Mind is right and [the] body is feeling good!”
The overall consensus from several members of Team USA is that training has been going great, even given the short turnaround between Houston and Guatemala.
“Training is going very well so far here in Houston,” Mattie Sasser said, another member of Team USA said. I’m looking forward to better results this next week in Guatemala.” Sasser competed at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics in the women’s -58 kg event and finished in eleventh place, and served as the flag bearer for the Marshall Islands.
And as mentioned above, the Pan American Championships is a Gold level qualifying event, which means it holds the highest importance for athletes who have their eyes set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. It’s worth noting that the Pan American Championships are different than the Pan American Games. The Pan American Games are a silver-level event and will take place in July in Lima, Peru.
Feature image from Mattie Sasser’s Instagram @mattie_641