Team USA Claims its First Medal of 2018 World Championships

Nov. 06, 2018, 1:03 p.m. (ET)


Ashgabat, Turkmenistan Tuesday Nov. 6- Jordan Cantrell took the platform first for Team USA on the sixth day of the 2018 IWF Weightlifting World Championships in the 89kg B session. Cantrell made his first World Championships appearance this year after traveling to Anaheim with Team USA as an alternate in 2017. Cantrell missed his opening snatch attempt at 155kg but came back to hit it on his second attempt. He also missed 160kg, a personal best he made at American Open Series 3 in Las Vegas in September.

“160kg felt good off the floor, just timing was a little off and I couldn’t put it in the right spot overhead,” Cantrell said of his last snatch attempt. He says his coaches considered lowering his opening clean and jerk attempt. “At that point I was pretty upset with my snatch performance, I told them lets go 185kg, because I had just crushed 175kg in the back.”

In the clean and jerk portion of the competition, Cantrell hit his first and second attempts of 185kg and 190kg, matching his personal best from AO3. He missed his third clean and jerk attempt at 194kg.

Meredith Alwine and Mattie Rogers went head to head on the world stage in the 71kg A session. Alwine missed her opening snatch attempt of at 98kg, just one kilo below her competition personal best that she made at Junior World Championships in July. She hit 98kg on her second attempt and went on to make 101kg, her new personal best on her third.

“I’m really happy to get a new competition snatch personal record and a new total personal record,” Alwine said after the competition. She hit her opening clean and jerk of 128kg, and moved up to 132kg, just under her personal best in the lift. She hit 132kg, to reset her own Junior American Record in total to 233kg.

“It wasn’t until my last year as a junior that I started getting into the records, so it was cool to beat myself on that total record,” she said. Alwine missed her last clean and jerk attempt of 135kg, finishing 4th in the lift and 6th overall.

Rogers went three for three in the snatch, hitting 100kg, 103kg and 105kg. “I was ready to do more today, but we did 105kg to build a total and that worked out,” Rogers said of the snatch portion of the competition.

She hit 130kg on her opening clean and jerk attempt and went up to 133kg on her second attempt. “It felt heavy, but I really thought I could make the third one for sure,” Rogers said. She missed 137kg on her last clean and jerk attempt, and assumed she missed the podium.

“I thought my last attempt was for a medal, and was disappointed,” she said. “They said I still got bronze and I was so surprised and excited.”

Rogers’ personal coach, Danny Camargo said their goal for the competition was to increase her total and start accumulating ROBI points. The bronze medal in the clean and jerk was icing on the cake.

“I expected a good performance out of her and we got it,” Camargo said. “The training that got us this far didn’t change. We’re doing the same reps and sets, same intensity and same rest days. It’s still proving successful for her.”

With the medal, Team USA has medaled at back-to-back worlds for the first time in 19 years; Robin Goad won three bronzes in 1998 and Cheryl Haworth claimed one in 1999. Rogers also becomes the first American lifter to medal at worlds in consecutive years since Robin Byrd did so in 1993 and 1994.

“This is a fully attended World Championships, on the other side of the world from Anaheim,” said Mike Gattone, USA Weightlifting’s Senior Director of Sport Performance. “For her to come out of this with a medal just shows her leadership and strength, as well as the potential of USA Weightlifting. This is what we do now, we expect this more and more.”

China’s Zhang Wandli swept gold in the 71kg A session while setting world records in the clean and jerk with a 152kg lift and 267 total. Sara Ahmed, a junior from Egypt, broke all three junior world records with a 111kg snatch, a 141kg clean and jerk and a 252kg total, earning her bronze in the snatch and silver in the clean and jerk and total.

The men’s 89kg A session rounded out competition for the day. Arley Mendez of Chile took snatch gold with a 169kg lift. Russia’s Artem Okulov took the gold medals in the clean and jerk and total with a 206kg lift and 372 total.

Jason Bonnick and Nathan Damron compete Wednesday for Team USA, both in the 94kg B session at noon local time, 11pm PST. Watch live at USAW.live.