USA Weightlifting Features Team USA Athletes In...

Team USA Athletes Invited to Lift at IWF China Grand Prix

Aug. 31, 2015, 12:39 p.m. (ET)

Team USA Athletes Invited to Lift at IWF China Grand Prix

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (August  31, 2015)—USA Weightlifting is excited to name its Team USA participants for the prestigious International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) China Grand Prix Sept. 19-24 in Fuzhou, China.

The IWF’s Grand Prix Series centers on invitational events on an international stage, with select athletes competing for personal qualification totals toward the Rio 2016 Olympic Games; all participants in Rio must have competed in at least two such IWF events.

Among the elite weightlifters in America, China specifically invited the following participants: Morghan King, 53kg (Colorado Springs, Colo./United States Olympic Training Center/unattached); Geralee Vega Morales, 63kg (Orlando, Fla./East Coast Gold); Derrick Johnson, 62kg (Los Angeles/Texas Barbell); and Darren Barnes, 56kg (St. Louis/East Coast Gold).

In addition, China invited USA Weightlifting to enter further elite athletes based on weight class. These Team USA participants are: Anthony Pomponio, 85kg (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center/Iron Athlete Weightlifting); John McGovern, 85kg (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center/Razor’s Edge Pensacola); James Tatum, 77kg (Fort Mill, S.C./Team MDUSA); Leonardo Hernandez, 77kg (Miami Gardens, Fla./CrossFit Doral); Sean Hutchinson, 62kg (Baltimore/LSU-Shreveport); Cortney Batchelor, 58kg (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Olympic Training Center/Gayle Hatch WLC); Mary Peck, 63kg (Sacramento, Calif./Palo Alto Barbell); and, based on China’s further request for a specific entry in the 69kg weight class, Ariel Stephens, 69kg (Fort Mill, S.C./Team MDUSA).

Tatum, Batchelor, Vega and Johnson will all confirm their second major event of the required two, as they participated in the 2014 IWF World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. King will confirm her third event, having participated in the recent 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, as well as the 2014 IWF World Championships, where she broke the Pan American Games record in the snatch and placed fourth overall. Barnes, Pomponio, McGovern, Hernandez, Hutchinson, Stephens and Peck will all confirm their first event of the required two.