Powered by his gold-medal finish in the 94 kg. division and the United States’ third-place team finish at the 2016 Pan American Championships, weightlifter Kendrick Farris has earned the opportunity to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Farris claims the only quota spot awarded to the United States in men’s weightlifting by placing highest in his division among the U.S. men competing this weekend in Cartagena, Colombia. The U.S. had to place among the top seven teams this weekend to earn the quota spot, which went to the American who finished highest in his weight division.
Farris bested Cuba’s Victor Quinones Benites for the gold, outperforming him in both portions of the competition. In the snatch, Farris was successful in all three of his lifts, building to a final lift of 165 kg., three kilos better than the Cuban. In the clean and jerk, Farris missed his opening attempt at 194 kg., then hit for 195 kg. on his second attempt and 199 on the third, giving him a total of 364 kg., eight kilos more than Benites, to take the Pan American title.
It is Farris’ second Pan Am title after winning the 85 kg. division in 2010. Last summer he took the 94 kg. gold medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, an improvement on the 85 kg. bronze he won four years earlier in Guadalajara, Mexico. He also won a silver medal at the 2013 Summer Universiade.
Farris will likely be the only men’s weightlifter for Team USA in Rio, unless the U.S. is granted additional quota spots as a result of the world championship doping allegations. He rounds out a team that includes Morghan King (48 kg.), Jenny Arthur (75 kg.) and Sarah Robles (+75 kg.).