By Craig Bohnert | June 28, 2016, 12:45 p.m. (ET)

C.J. Cummings Jr. competes in the 69 kg. weight class at the 2015 International Weightlifting Federation World Championships at the George R. Brown Convention Center on Nov. 22, 2015 in Houston.


C.J. Cummings broke three youth world records en route to winning the gold medal at weightlifting’s junior world championship Monday in Tbilisi, Georgia. It is the first junior worlds title for the United States in 16 years.

The most recent American to win a junior worlds gold medal was Oscar Chaplin III, who won his title the same year Cummings was born. Chaplin, a bronze medalist at the Winnipeg 1999 Pan American Games, went on to compete in the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games. 

Competing in the 69 kg. division, Cummings rewrote three world records, scoring 175 kg. in the clean and jerk, then breaking his own record with a lift of 180 kg. His total of 317 kg. lifted in the clean and jerk gave him his third world record. Robin Byrd-Goad, a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team, was the last American weightlifter to break a world record (senior), doing it in 1994. The last American men’s weightlifter to set a world mark was Artie Drechsler (junior), who established his in 1970.

Cummings served notice last August that he would be a force to be reckoned with on the American weightlifting scene, winning the national championship at the age of 15 by lifting a total of 306 kg. His clean and jerk of 175 kg. broke the American men’s record by one kilogram. In November, he was the youngest of the nearly 700 competitors at the world championships in Houston.

A native of Beaufort, South Carolina, Cummings is the leading edge of USA Weightlifting’s youth development efforts, which are targeting success at the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.