Wes Kitts, D’Angelo Osorio Add to Team USA Medal Count at Pan American Championships

Olympic weightlifter Wes Kitts just broke the American record in the snatch at the Pan-American Weightlifting Championships in Miami, Florida. On his third and final attempt, the athlete lifted 175 kilograms (385.8 pounds).

Kitts’ historic lift earned him a silver medal in the snatch — and went toward a silver medal overall — in the extremely competitive -105kg weight class, with gold going to Jorge David Arroyo of Ecuador. Arroyo made a snatch of 182 kilograms (401.2 pounds).

D’Angelo Osorio, also of USA Weightlifting, won gold in the clean & jerk with a successful lift at 210 kilograms.

Kitts’ lift beat his own American record by one kilogram, which he set at the USA Weightlifting American Open in December last year.

In some respects, Kitts’ snatches mirrored a training session he filmed last month at his gym California Strength. During the workout, Kitts missed a 175kg lift twice before hitting it on his third attempt.

Kitts totaled 390 kilograms in that workout. So what did he total at Pan Ams?

He was breathing down Arroyo’s neck all the way through the clean & jerks — the Ecuadorian is known to be much more proficient at the snatch than the clean & jerk. Kitts’ first lift was 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds), after which Arroyo went for 200 kilograms and missed. Not only that, he appeared to injure himself, as he was limping off stage. It seemed like he wouldn’t come back to the stage, but he managed to rally and pull off a 200kg clean & jerk on his third attempt, limping even more conspicuously as he made his way off stage. He totaled 382 kilograms.

When he snatched 175kg in training, Kitts totaled 390 kilograms with a 215kg clean & jerk, but it wasn’t in the cards today. Kitts didn’t make his second lift of 208kg — he wasn’t able to lock out his left arm — and when he returned to make his third and final lift of 209kg, he made the clean, but collapsed to the ground before attempting the jerk. It appears that there was too much pressure on his windpipe and arteries, a not uncommon occurrence in weightlifting. Fortunately, he was able to quickly walk it off and doesn’t appear to have done any lasting harm.

With his 382-kilogram total, Arroyo brought home the gold medal in the total while Kitts came in second place with a 375kg total, earning himself a silver medal in the snatch and the total.

American D’Angelo Osorio, meanwhile, snatched 150kg and clean & jerked 210kg for a gold medal in the clean & jerk.

This was some of the fiercest competition we’ve seen in Pan American competition in years, and we can’t wait to see what the superheavyweights have in store. Congratulations to Osorio, Kitts, and Arroyo for their outstanding performances today.

Featured image via @USWeightlifting on Twitter.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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