Team USA Women are repeat Junior World Champions, Men win 2nd place

June 08, 2019, 5:26 a.m. (ET)

June 7, 2019 (SUVA, Fiji) – The women of Team USA have defended their Junior World Champions title and have once again been crowned following the 2019 Junior World Championships in Suva, Fiji. The Team USA Men came in second place, with the team from the Islamic Republic of Iran winning the top spot. Team USA continues to make history with a record number of medals won at a world championship with a total of 13 including six gold and seven bronze medals. 

“We have some amazing big names, but for us to continue to do this, we’ve have to continue to get deeper,” said coach Mike Gattone, USA Weightlifting’s Director of Coaching Education and Sport Performance. “I’m excited to see the depth of athletes rise up to win medals and that’s what I think the rest of the world is noticing as well.

Team USA’s CJ Cummings and Kate Nye were named Junior World Champions in their body weight categories, each breaking records in the process. Nye was named best female lifter of the competition, with the highest ROBI score.

Cummings broke two of his own Junior World Records in the clean and jerk and total.  With Monday’s 337kg total, CJ claimed the Junior World Champion title for the past four years in a row, the only weightlifter to ever do so. After breaking upwards of 20 records in the 73kg weight class a little over a month ago at the Pan American Championships, Cummings improved his Junior World Record clean and jerk to 192kg. His 153kg snatch and 344kg total from the Pan American Championships stand as Junior World Records.

Team USA’s Kate Nye secured a gold medal sweep with her opening attempts in Fiji Wednesday. Also following a record-breaking performance at the 2019 Pan American Championships, Nye had more records in sight. She went three for three in the clean and jerk portion of the competition, calling for 137kg on her last attempt to reset the junior and senior Pan American and junior and senior American records in the lift and in the total. She nailed it, and her 246kg total will also go in the record books. Nye finished the snatch portion of the competition just two kilos shy of the Junior World Record in the lift of 111kg owned by S. Ahmed of Egypt. Nye will also represent Team USA at the Junior Pan American Championships in just a few weeks in Cuba.

Hayley Reichard took the platform first for the women of Team USA in the 49kg category. She also earned the team’s first medals of the competition with personal bests in the clean and jerk and total. Reichardt’s earned bronze medals for her 98kg clean and jerk and 172kg total.

Peyton Brown also added to Team USA’s medal count Monday, winning a bronze medal in the 59kg category for her 87kg snatch. Her first time representing Team USA as a junior athlete, the Youth Olympian opened with her previous competition personal records of 83kg in the snatch and 103kg in the clean and jerk.

Competing in the 96kg B session, Jaden Washington earned a bronze medal for his 188kg clean and jerk. He posted a 335kg total. Athena Schrijver also earned a bronze medal in the clean and jerk with a 115kg lift that brought her total to 202kg.

Ashamarie Benitez (+87kg) won two bronze medals for Team USA Saturday, the last day of competition in Suva. Going five for six overall, she hit a new personal record snatch of 108kg to come in third place in the lift. Her 137kg clean and jerk earned her a total of 245kg, also a third-place finish.

Every member of Team USA put up a total and had a strong performance at the Junior World Championships. Team USA will travel to Cuba at the end of the month to compete in the 2019 Junior Pan American Championships in hopes of continuing their winning streak.