Team USA Hits Platform at 2019 Worlds

By Kevin Farley with Team USA in Pattaya, Thailand | Sept. 19, 2019, 1:26 p.m. (ET)

Team USA hit the platform Thursday at the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.

Morghan King (Power and Grace Performance, Dacula, GA) was the first American athlete to the stage. She had a strong showing in the 49kg B session.

In the snatch, King made her opening attempt of 80kg. She missed her second attempt, at 82kg, but came back to make it on her third attempt. Her 82kg lift matched her personal best in the lift set at the 2019 Nike American Open Series 2 powered by Rogue Fitness in July in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“I’m really happy to be on the world stage again,” King, an Olympian in 2016 said. “I went out and made my openers, that’s a big thing for me. My snatches felt the best they had in a long time.”

Some fireworks in the clean & jerk, after making her opening attempt of 99kg, her second attempt, a 101kg lift, was initially ruled a no lift by the referees. Team USA Technical Director and 3-time Olympic Champion, Pyrros Dimas, immediately played a challenge card, forcing a jury review of the lift. After consultation with the video replay system, the jury ruled King’s 101kg attempt a good lift, Team USA’s first successful challenge since the new rule when into effect this year.

“I’m really pumped to have that lift overturned,” King said. “I felt it, I knew I made that lift.”

King missed her 103kg third attempt, but put up a 183kg total, a personal best in the 49kg bodyweight category and an 8th place finish.

“It’s really cool to see sixteen weeks of training show up on the platform,” King’s personal coach, Spencer Arnold said. “The way she moved that third snatch, that technique was not a thing a year ago. I am really proud.”

Later in the day, Alyssa Ritchey (Team Juggernaut, Perrysburg, OH) was Team USA’s first athlete in an “A” session. In the snatch, Ritchey hit her 78kg opener, a 1kg improvement from the 2017 World Championships. She missed 81kg on her second and third attempts.

“I fought hard,” a tearful Ritchey told USA Weightlifting after her session.  “I had a really difficult cut to make weight. I woke up at 53kg and started my period, so the weight wasn’t coming off as quickly.”

Fighting until the end, in the clean & jerk, Ritchey made her opener of 100kg, but missed 103kg on her second and third attempt. Her 178kg total gave her a 13th place finish and matched her total at the 2018 World Weightlifting Championships.

“The weight cut was very difficult and get all the way through it,” Ritchey’s personal coach, Max Aita said. “She was weak, you could see it. We just tried to make a total. She fought her way through it and got on the board.”

Friday’s action at the World Championships features three Team USA athletes. Jordan Wissinger (Garage Strength, Denver, PA) and Alex Lee (Alee Athletics, Chandler, AZ) kick things off in the men’s 67kg B session at noon local time. You catch their session right here at USAWeightlifting.org.

Reigning Pan American Champion Jourdan Delacruz takes the platform at 2:25PM local time in the women’s 55kg B session. Her session will be broadcast around the world and streamed on ESPN3.

Stay tuned to USAWeightlifting.org for complete coverage from the 2019 IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Pattaya, Thailand.