Kitts hits personal bests at the 2018 IWF World Weightlifting Championships

Nov. 09, 2018, 1:13 p.m. (ET)

Nov. 9, 2018 Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – Wes Kitts took the platform for Team USA on Friday in the 109kg B session. His snatch opener was his best in the lift at 168kg. He missed 174kg on his second and third attempts.

“The opener couldn’t have been any easier,” Kitts said after his session. I’m a little bummed to not have excelled where I usually do. It’s not indicative of the way I train.”

Kitts bounced back fast, going three for three in the clean and jerk portion of the competition. He hit 208kg, 215kg and a 10kg personal best of 222kg landing him on top of the group.

“I hit it once in training,” he said of his 222kg clean and jerk. “I knew it was there, Dave (Spitz, Kitts’ personal coach) knew it was there. We just had to come back after the snatch to save the performance.”

Kitts hit his previous competition personal record of 212kg at the Pan American Championship in May, where it earned him a gold medal in the 105kg body weight category. His 222kg clean and jerk earned him 5th overall in the lift, and was just shy of the American record standard, set at 223kg. Kitts also beat his previous personal best in total by 4kg, with a 390kg.

Later in the 109kg A session, China’s Zhe Yang took gold in the snatch with a 196kg lift. Simon Martirosyan hit a World Record clean and jerk at 240kg, also winning a gold medal in the lift and total at 435kg.

The women’s 87kg A session rounded out the say in Ashgabat. China’s AO Hui took snatch and total gold with a 117kg lift and 268kg total. PRK’s KIM Un Ju took gold in the clean and jerk with a 152kg lift, and silver in total with 263kg.

Saturday marks the final day of competition at the 2018 World Championships. Team USA will field its final three athletes in the last sessions. First up is Keiser Witte in the +109kg C session. That session begins at 8AM local time in Ashgabat Saturday, 7PM Friday Pacific Time.

Caine Wilkes returns to the Worlds stage in the +109kg B session, which begins at Noon local time in Ashgabat Saturday, 11PM Pacific Time Friday.

Sarah Robles will then take to the platform to defend her 2017 World Championship in the women’s +87kg A session. That begins at 2:25PM local time in Ashgabat, 1:25AM Pacific Time on Saturday. The men’s sessions will be carried LIVE on http://usaw.live/ while Robles’ session will be carried on ESPN3. Check out http://usaw.live for links and further live stream information.