LIMA, Peru (July 30,2019) -- The reigning Pan American Champion in the +87kg category defended her long held title Tuesday in Lima, Sarah Robles secured the gold medal with time to spare. After missing her opening snatch attempt of 120kg, she came back to make it on her second, moving up and successfully making a 125kg lift on her third.
“I was in really good shape coming into this competition, so I knew I could lift whatever was put on the bar,” Robles told USA Weightlifting after the competition. “I had to come from behind because I missed my first snatch, but I know that my leg strength isn’t matched by the other athletes.”
Robles went three for three in clean and jerks making 152kg on her first attempt. She jumped to 159kg on her second attempt to bring her total to 284kg to secure the gold medal. Robles took a stab at a new Pan American and American record in the lift requesting 163kg on the bar to beat her own current record in the lift of 162kg. She cleaned the lift, but lost the jerk in front.
Robles’ gold medal brought the team’s total medal count to five, the most medals won at a Pan American Games by Team USA weightlifting since 1999 when Cheryl Haworth, Lea Forman, Robin Goad, Tara Nott and Shane Hamman were crowned champions.
Wes Kitts won Team USA’s other gold medal Monday with a come from behind win in the 109kg category. His 217kg clean and jerk brought his total to 389kg to secure gold. Kate Nye (76kg category) and Mattie Sasser (64kg category) both broke American records in the process of earning spots on the podium. Sasser won a bronze medal with her 232kg total, six for six performance that reset all three American records in her body weight category. Nye’s three new Junior American records and 243kg total earned a bronze medal.
All ten members of Team USA Weightlifting’s Pan American Games team will compete at the 2019 Weightlifting World Championships in September in Pattaya, Thailand.