Marshall Islands weightlifter Mattie Sasser is going to the Olympic Games in Brazil next month. A letter over the weekend to the RMI National Olympic Committee and the National Weightlifting Federation confirmed that Sasser was selected to receive one of only four wild-card spots available to IOC members worldwide.
Although Sasser set eight new junior and senior Oceania weightlifting records during the Oceania Championships in Fiji in May on her way to being named Best Junior and Best Senior Lifter, this did not guarantee her a spot at the Olympics.
In order for a country to qualify one or more female weightlifters for the Olympic Games, they are required to have a team with a minimum of seven female competitors — a requirement the Marshall Islands Weightlifting Federation does not meet. So Sasser was competing with weightlifters from around the world for these four invitation-only positions at the the Olympic Games.
International Weightlifting Federation President Dr. Tamas Ajan sent the letter of invitation to the RMI NOC and Weightlifting Federations on July 1 confirming that Sasser is to receive one of these four spots.
The Olympic Games are scheduled for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5-21.
As a result of her competing at the World Weightlifting Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia last month, Sasser is ranked number seven in the world in her 58KG (128 pound) weight class.
Read more about this in the July 8, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.