BANGKOK, Thailand (April 7, 2017) – CJ Cummings of the United States of America set a new Youth World Record with a 185kg clean & jerk lift while successfully defending his crown at the 2017 International Weightlifting Federation Youth World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand Friday.
“It was an honor to come out here and represent our country,” Cummings said. “It was an amazing feeling especially when athletes from all over the world came up to me and congratulate me.”
With a 137kg snatch, coupled with his 185kg clean & jerk, Cummings ended the 2017 IWF Youth World Championships with a 322kg total, matching the current Youth World Record. Cummings won the silver medal in snatch and successfully defended his crown of Youth World Champion.
Cummings, 16, of Beaufort, South Carolina, held the previous Youth World Record in the Clean & Jerk with a 182kg lift he performed at the 2016 IWF Youth World Championships in Penang, Malaysia.
Cummings’ 185kg clean & jerk not only set a new Youth World Record, it also set a new American Youth, Junior and Senior Record in clean & jerk in the men’s 69kg weight category. His total of 322kg also set new American Youth, Junior and Senior Records in total.
Team USA is enjoying the experience of new USA Weightlifting Technical Director and three-time Olympic Champion Pyrros Dimas. Dimas is helping coach the athletes in the Warm Up Room.
"Pyrros was super impressed with CJ," USA Weightlifting Assistant National Teams Director Mike Gattone said. "It was so great to have him back there, and to have him on our team."
“After two days of travel and adjusting to the local area, CJ wasn’t as sharp as he could be, “Cummings’ coach, Ray Jones said. “But he came out here and did the lift. It was one of the best performances I have ever seen.”
“He’s a composed young man,” Gattone said. “In this sport, psychology trumps all. Calm, cool, collected. He’s extremely rare. Extremely special.”
Cummings' performance should serve as inspiration to all young athletes.
"My biggest thought our kids in the audience and our young athletes across the United States all still feel that they can do this well," Gattone said. "It’s our time to keep stepping up the International accolade. IWF President Dr. Tamas Ajan came up to us. Everyone was running up for us.”
Ajan and Cummings shared a hug moments after Cummings' 185kg clean & jerk.
"Dr. Ajan told me 'very good lift. You should keep this up for a long time," Cummings said.
“We’ve been saying it for years now. CJ Cummings is a force on the international stage. That was evident today,” USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews said. “His performance in Bangkok was incredible. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for CJ.”
Team USA continues at the 2017 IWF Youth World Championships this weekend in Bangkok. A full schedule is available at http://bit.ly/17ywc.