Team USA Marches on in World Championships

By Kevin Farley with Team USA in Pattaya, Thailand | Sept. 22, 2019, 11:35 a.m. (ET)

Team USA marched on at the 2019 World Championships as three athletes took the platform in Pattaya, Thailand Sunday.

Harrison Maurus (unattached, Auburn, WA) battled in the snatch in the 81kg B session. He missed 152kg snatch on his first and second attempt but came back to make it on his third.

“It didn’t go exactly as I wanted to,” Maurus said. “It was feeling good but messed up the technique.”

Maurus dominated the session’s clean & jerk competition. He looked strong in his 191kg opening attempt, completing the lift. He looked even better on his 198kg second and successful attempt.

“He smashed warm-ups. He smashed 191kg and 198kg,” coach Spencer Arnold said.

Then, on his third attempt, Maurus attempted 205kg, a new Junior World Record and a bronze medal in the clean & jerk. But he came up short and dropped the barbell mid-clean.

“I told him that if he made two big lifts, he could attempt the world record,” Arnold said. “When you promise a kid a shot at the world record, you give him the shot at the world record.”

“The 205 was kind of a hail Mary to put up a world record,” Maurus said.

Maurus had a rude awakening on his competition day. A water main break flooded his hotel room at 2:30 in the morning. But it didn’t faze him.

“It’s been an interesting morning,” Maurus said. “I had a waterfall develop in my bathroom, coming straight out of the ceiling. I went to back to sleep a couple hours later in a new room. I don’t think it affected me here, but it was an interesting experience.”

Maurus finished in 9th place with a 350kg total.

In Sunday’s morning session, Christian Rodriguez Ocasio (Puerto Rico, California Strength) competed in the 81kg C session.

In the snatch, he made his second attempt at 147kg. He missed his opener at 145kg and his third attempt at 153kg.

In the clean & jerk, Christian made 180kg on his second attempt after missing that weight on his first. His third attempt—190kg—would have been a personal record, but he came up short.

“On the second one, I felt a little more courage,” Ocasio said. “I hit it and with 190kg it was very heavy off the ground.”

His 327kg total gave him 23rd place overall.

A scary moment for Ocasio. After cleaning his first attempt, he passed out. Coach David Spitz said it was courageous for his athlete to go back to the platform and make his second lift.

“We have a lot to learn, this is his first world championships,” personal coach David Spitz said. “Despite being reasonable in the Pan Am Federation, we have a lot of work to do to compete against the best of the world.”

Ocasio wasn’t injured in the fall.

Team USA marches on Monday in the 2019 World Championships with Jordan Cantrell liting in the 89kg B session at 2:25PM local time. Then at 5:55PM, Mattie Rogers and Kate Nye will lift for Team USA in the women’s 71kg A session.