Ashgabat, Turkmenistan Nov. 5, 2018 – Hunter Elam got things started for Team USA Monday in the 64kg B session held at 2:25pm local time. Elam hit her opening snatch attempt of 90kg but missed 93kg on her second snatch attempt. She went up to 94kg, her best snatch from the American Open Series 3 in Las Vegas but missed the lift.
“The first one felt awesome and fine, I was in a really good groove,” Elam said of her first snatch attempt. “Then the second and third attempts were right there. They felt fine, they didn’t feel heavy, just a few technical issues that I’ve been working on and will continue to work on.”
In the clean and jerk portion of the competition, Elam hit her opening 114kg attempt. She missed her 116kg second attempt but came back to hit a 117kg clean and jerk on her third attempt, for a 207kg total.
“This was my first worlds and I was so excited for the opportunity, it was a fun experience and I look forward to trying to make more teams and getting better and better.”
Junior Harrison Maurus took the platform next for Team USA in the 81kg A session. Maurus, the bronze medalist in the clean and jerk and total from the 2017 World Championships in the 77kg had the performance of his life, going six for six in Ashgabat. Maurus landed in 7th place overall in the snatch hitting 150kg, 154kg and 157kg lifts.
@harrison_maurus has the performance of his life at #18wwc going 6 for 6 in the 81kg A session!! Snatch: 157kg -7th Clean and jerk: 200kg -4th Total: 357kg -6th overall All three of his clean and jerks were Junior World records, broken by China’s Li in the same session. His 200kg clean and jerk will stand as the junior and senior American record in the 81kg category! #usaweightlifting #teamusa 🇺🇸🇺🇸
“Snatches are always a little more up in the air for me,” Maurus said. “I hit all my snatches and that put me in a good place for the overall total.”
All three of Maurus’s clean and jerks, 191kg, 195kg and 200kg were Junior World Records, broken later in the session by China’s LI Dayin who went on to take the gold medal in the lift. Maurus narrowly missed the podium in the clean and jerk, placing 4th. His 357kg total earned him 6th overall. His 200kg clean and jerk will stand as both the junior and senior American record.
“I went out to do 195 and 200 and just attacked them, went after them with everything I had,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
Egypt’s Mohamed Ihab Youssef Ahmed Mahmoud hit a 173kg snatch to set the 81kg cat. Snatch world record and take the gold medal in the lift. Teammates from China, LI Dayin and LYU Xiaojun took gold in the clean and jerk and total respectively.
At the 2017 IWF WWC in Anaheim, Maurus broke the youth world record clean and jerk with a 193kg lift and ended a twenty-year medal drought, earning bronze in the total and clean and jerk in the 77kg body weight category.
Rounding out the day for Team USA was Mattie Sasser a 2016 Olympian for Marshall Islands, now living in Chicago and being coached by Dave Ester. Sasser went two for three in the snatch portion of the competition, hitting 94kg and 97kg, a personal best. Sasser missed her opening clean and jerk attempt of 120kg but opted to go up a kilo and hit 121kg on her second attempt. She went for 125kg on her last attempt, which would’ve been a personal best, but missed. Sasser totaled 218kg. China’s DENG Wei swept the gold medal with a 112kg snatch and a 140kg clean and jerk for a 252kg total, all three senior world records.
Jordan Cantrell, Meredith Alwine and Mattie Rogers represent Team USA Tuesday at the World Championships in Ashgabat. Cantrell competes in the 89kg B session at 2:25pm local (1:25am PST). Alwine and Rogers will go head to head in the 71kg A session at 5:25pm local (4:25am PST). Both sessions will be broadcast live on ESPN 3 and at USAW.live.