The future looks bright for Belgium. On Monday, Oct. 17, 2022, 20-year-old Olympic lifter Nina Sterckx set a pair of new Junior World Records in the clean & jerk and Total while lifting at the 2022 European Junior & Under-23 Weightlifting Championships.
Taking place in Durrës, Albania, from Oct. 15-25, the 55-kilogram Sterckx took the competition by storm with her 118-kilogram (260.1-pound) jerk. That lift, paired with a 95-kilogram (209.4-pound) snatch, earned Sterckx a 213-kilo (469.5-pound) Total.
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The Belgian youngster had herself a day on the competition platform. Sterckx not only set two new Junior records in her weight class; she also swept gold across the board in Albania with a solid 4/6 performance:
Nina Sterckx (55KG) | 2022 European Junior Championships
- Snatch: 92, 95, 98X
- Clean & Jerk: 110X, 110, 118* Junior World Record
- Total: 213* Junior World Record
Note: All weights above are listed in kilograms. “X” denotes an unsuccessful attempt by the athlete. The Total refers to the athlete’s best snatch combined with their best clean & jerk.
Sterckx was in a league of her own during her session. Her 213-kilogram Total was 12 kilos beyond the silver medalist, Andreea Cotruta of Romania, and a whopping 51 kilograms beyond the lowest Total in her session.
Nina Sterckx’s Weightlifting Career
At only 20 years old, Sterckx has already built herself a phenomenal career in competitive weightlifting.
According to the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) athlete database, Sterckx has competed at an impressive 17 international competitions since 2017. The most recent of which was the 2022 Junior World Weightlifting Championships, which she won with a 204-kilogram Total.
Some of her other accolades include:
- 2019 Youth World Championships: 1st
- 2019 European Junior Championships: 1st
- 2021 European Championships: 3rd
- 2021 Junior World Championships: 2nd
- 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games: 5th
Sterckx has competed in IWF-sanctioned competitions in the 49-, 53-, 55-, and 59-kilogram weight classes (some of which are no longer recognized by the IWF after 2018).
Steps to Success
Sterckx now owns two of the three Junior records in the 55-kilogram category. Interestingly, prior to her performance, each of the three records was held by a different athlete, something of a rarity in the sport.
The 117-kilogram clean & jerk record once belonged to Kim Ji-hyang of North Korea, Ukrainian weightlifter Kamila Konotop had the 212-kilo Total record, and Tunisia’s Nouha Landoulsi still holds the record in the snatch of 97 kilograms.
That said, Sterckx’s performance in Albania was also her international best ever. She Totaled seven kilos more than what she had lifted just a few months prior at Junior Worlds. Things are trending up for the Belgian athlete, and there’s surely more to come.
Featured Image: @nina.sterckx on Instagram