By Paul D. Bowker | Nov. 20, 2015, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
Kendrick Farris competes in the men's 85 kg. weightlifting competition during the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on Aug. 3, 2012 in London.

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Lifting history is being made in Houston this week.

The city’s George R. Brown Convention Center is hosting the 2015 IWF World Weightlifting Championships, marking the first time the United States has hosted a combined men’s and women’s world championship in weightlifting. The competition goes through Nov. 28.

At stake for the United States and at least 104 other nations are quota spots for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games. The final quota slots are determined by combined team rankings in the 2014 and 2015 world championships.

Among the 15 U.S. athletes are two-time Olympian Kendrick Farris; 2012 Olympian Holley Mangold; 2012 Olympian Sarah Robles; and Jared Fleming, a 2016 Olympic hopeful who is competing in the world championships for the third time.

Mangold and Robles will compete in the +75 kg. weight class. Others on the U.S. women’s squad are Morghan King and Kathleen Winters, 48 kg.; Jessica Lucero, 58 kg.; and Jenny Arthur and Mattie Rogers, 75 kg.

Farris and Fleming are both competing in the 94 kg. weight division. Joining them in the men’s competition are Derrick Johnson, 62 kg.; CJ Cummings and Alex Lee, 69 kg.; Leo Hernandez and Travis Cooper, 77 kg.; and Caine Wilkes, +105 kg.

“The better we all do as individuals, the better the team does,” Fleming said. “Everyone has to be selfless and can’t take big risks.”

Competition begins Friday in the 56 kg., 48 kg., 62 kg. and 53 kg. weight classes.

Webcast: and

TV: 1 p.m. ET Dec. 6, ESPN2

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.