By Todd Kortemeier | Nov. 06, 2018, 11:28 a.m. (ET)

Mattie Rogers participates in a weightlifting competition.

 

Competing in a new weight class, and not quite at the 71 kg. weight limit, Mattie Rogers has nowhere to go but up. 

Duplicating her clean & jerk bronze medal at 69 kg. from the 2017 world championships, Rogers scored the first medal of the 2018 worlds for Team USA with a bronze in the 71 kg. clean & jerk. Rogers’ 133 kg. was just one kilo off her personal best, and two kilos better than her 2017 effort. 

China’s Wangli Zhang took the gold medal with 152 kg. and Egypt’s Sara Ahmed was second with 141. Team USA’s Meredith Alwine was just behind Rogers in fourth with 132.

Last year, Rogers won three bronzes (snatch, clean & jerk, total) to become the first U.S. women’s weightlifting world medalist in 12 years.

Rogers went for 137 kg. for her third clean & jerk Tuesday, to put her on the total medal stand, but missed the clean. With her fifth-place finish in snatch, Rogers had to settle for fifth overall. Zhang and Ahmed were first and second, respectively, while Alwine was sixth.

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With the medal, Team USA has medaled at back-to-back worlds for the first time in 19 years; Robin Goad won three bronzes in 1998 and Cheryl Haworth claimed one in 1999. Rogers also becomes the first American lifter to medal at worlds in consecutive years since Robin Byrd did so in 1993 and 1994.

Rogers, 23, from Orlando, Florida, was competing in her third world championships. She is a three-time American record holder, and just missed a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team.

The world championships continue from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan through Nov. 10.

Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.