Ritchey and King take the podium to kick off the 2019 Pan American Championships

By Kelsey Kennedy | April 24, 2019, 12:09 a.m. (ET)

(Guatemala City, Guatemala) April 23, 2019 – Alyssa Ritchey and Morghan King took the Pan American Championships platform for Team USA Tuesday, both landing on the podium for strong performances in the 49kg body weight category.

Alyssa Ritchey had a perfect six for six performance, sweeping gold and setting four new records. Her 107kg clean and jerk set the American record as did her 190kg total. She broke two Pan American records previously held by the Dominican Republic’s Beatriz Piron, also in the clean and jerk and total.

“I thought 190kg would maybe happen at the end of 2019,” Ritchey said of her total. “I still can’t believe I did it, I’m in awe.”

Ritchey’s 83kg snatch was one kilo more than the lift she missed on her last attempt at the American Open Finals in December. After the competition, Ritchey told USA Weightlifting she’d been struggling with snatches in training leading up to Pan Ams.

“I was really in my head,” she said. “I changed my mindset and decided to have a blast and be who I am in training. I’m going to let these girls see who I am. I’m a good athlete, I came here to dominate and that’s what I did.”

2016 Olympian Morghan King took silver in the clean and jerk with a 102kg lift, and bronze in total with 180kg. Her 78kg snatch earned her sixth overall.

“It feels good to be back, said after the competition. “I’m just so happy about this whole experience. I’ve never been on the podium at an international meet, so this feels great. It’s been a long road back since the Olympics.”

The 2019 Pan American Championships are a gold level qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Five athletes will take the stage for Team USA Wednesday:

67kg 11:00 am - Jordan Wissinger

55kg 1:30 pm - Jourdan Delacruz and Caitlin Hogan

73kg 3:30 pm - CJ Cummings

59kg 6:00 pm - Jessica Lucero

Watch the 2019 Pan American Championships LIVE from Guatemala HERE.