USA Weightlifting Features Orlando Gearing Up f...

Orlando Gearing Up for 2016 USA Weightlifting American Open Championships

By Anna Resman | Dec. 06, 2016, 11:39 a.m. (ET)

Final preparations are underway for the 2016 USA Weightlifting American Open Championships in Orlando, Florida. Competition will kick off on Thursday night, December 8, with youth / junior trials, and regular sessions will run from Friday morning through Sunday evening. The event is taking place at the Orlando World Center Marriott, situated close to Orlando's renowned theme park district.

USA Weightlifting has partnered with the Central Florida Sports Commission and Team Florida Orlando to host this weekend's competition. “We are delighted to welcome a national competition back to Florida and are excited to offer a great competition environment to our friends from all over the nation for this important annual meet," said Tyrone Harvey. Team Florida Orlando, led by Harvey, is the largest weightlifting club in Florida.

This is the first qualification event for several key international competitions in 2017, including the Senior Pan American Championships, Junior World Championships, and Youth World Championships.

This weekend also marks the first time that women will lift in the new 90kg weight class in an International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) sanctioned international competition. IWF formally recognized the new weight category in October, and USA Weightlifting published its American record standards last month. "We are thrilled to welcome the newest weight category to the platform this weekend," said Phil Andrews, CEO of USA Weightlifting. "We look forward to history being made and welcoming more gender equality to our sport."

With over 850 lifters competing over the four days, there will be no shortage of action. Top lifters from every level are headed south, including many 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials participants and National Champions. CJ Cummings, who won both Junior World Championships and Youth World Championships this year, will compete on Saturday in the men's 69kg division. Hometown favorite Mattie Rogers will lead the women's 69kg class on Sunday.  

Tickets can be online or at the door (credit cards only). There will be a live webcast, and results will be updated frequently on the USA Weightlifting website and social media accounts.

This is the final year that the American Open Championships is a standalone event. The American Open Series will begin next year, consisting of a three events throughout the year and culminating with the American Open Finals. The new series will kick off in Reno, Nevada, from March 16 to 19, 2017.