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Morghan King Sets American Record, Finishes 6th in First Olympic Games

By Kevin Farley | Aug. 06, 2016, 8:24 p.m. (ET)

Morghan King after incredible performance at 2016 Olympic Games

RIO de JANEIRO, Brazil --- Team USA's Morghan King wowed the world with a strong performance Saturday at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A newcomer to the sport, King broke a 16-year-old American record on her way to a 6th place finish at her first Olympic Games. She finished with a total weight of 183kg.

King weighed in at 47.79kg and came out strong with a successful 80kg snatch. She missed her second snatch at 82kg, but broke an American record with her third, 83kg snatch. 

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT: King sets American Record, finishes sixth at Olympic Games

The previous record, 82.5kg, was held by 2000 Olympic weightlifting champion Tara Nott. Nott held the snatch record in the 48kg category since July 2000.

"That's unreal," King told USA Weightlifting. "Tara Nott, who held that record that's lasted for 16 years...it's pretty special. To just be by somebody that won the gold in the 2000 Olympics is really, really something very cool to me and very dear to my heart."

"The American record was fantastic," King's coach Dean Kruse told USA Weightlifting. "Her overall performance was really good. It was a lifetime PR for her and it was really competitive, honestly, with the way the women stacked up in the session. She was just one or two of her makes away from moving up the rankings and almost on the podium, so her performance was awesome."

In the clean and jerk, King started with a successful 100kg lift. In her second attempt at 103kg, King tried to break Nott's 102.5kg record. The lift was not successful. King nearly completed the 3rd clean and jerk attempt at 103kg but came up short.  However her 183kg total was a personal best, topping her 180kg performance at the 2016 National Championships and U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Salt Lake City.

"Yeah, I mean you always want to be the best," King told USA Weightlifting. "I think if you don't strive to be the best you're never going to get to the top. So I definitely wanted to break the records and clean and jerk just wasn't my day. I'm just so thankful to be able to be on this Olympic stage, be healthy and go out there and do my best."

King has had her eye on re-writing the American record book.

"That's been a target for us in the gym, we talk about it a lot," Kruse said. "In the gym she hits those weights three times a week, but after cutting weight and doing it here on the Olympic stage was awesome. Tara Nott, the gold-medal performance she put on in 2000 has stood for 16 years, so to come here and do it at the Olympics is fantastic."

Attempt 1 2 3
Snatch  80  82  83*
C&Jerk 100 103 103
*New American Record
Total: 183kg
Placement: 6

King is already looking to the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo.

"I'll feel it out for the next couple of years, but I'm so young in weightlifting that, why not. I enjoy the sport," King told USA Weightlifting. "This is such an awesome place. I'm just happy to be here."

Final results
Place  NOC Athlete Total
1 THA Sopita Tanasan 200kg
2 INA Sri Wahyuni Agustiani 192kg
3 JPN Hiromi Miyake 188kg
4 DOM Beatriz Elizabeth Piron Candelario 187kg
5 KAZ Margarita Yelisseyeva 186kg
6 USA Morghan Whitney King 183kg
7 TPE Wei-Ling Chen 181kg
8 UKR Iuliia Paratova 179kg
9 MRI Roilya Ranaivosoa 173kg
10 KGZ Zhanyl Okoeva 169kg

IND Chanu Saikhom Mirabai --

VIE Thi Huyen Vuong DNF