Mattie Sasser continued her winning ways with a gold medal performance in the United States earlier this month.
Competing at the 2016 American Open weightlifting competition in Orlando, Florida, Sasser’s 88kg/194lb snatch and 113kg/249lb clean and jerk for a 201kg/442lbs total broke her previous Oceania 58kg junior snatch and total records.
At USA Weightlifting’s (USAW) premier annual lifting event, which hosted over 900 competitors, she defeated 63 female 58kg weightlifters including USAW World Team member and current 58kg American senior record holder Jessica Lucero in what ended up being a fight to the finish over who would make their last lift.
Both women snatched 88kg on their final attempt, with Sasser taking the gold by weight advantage. In the clean and jerk, Sasser successfully completed 113kg on her final clean and jerk. In a last attempt for gold, Lucero tried to lift 116kg to overcome Sasser’s weight advantage and achieve a winning total. If successful, Lucero would have set a new American record, but she was unable to complete her final clean and jerk. She finished one kilo behind Sasser in the total to place second overall, confirming Sasser as the gold medalist in both the clean and jerk and total.
“This year Mattie achieved the top position in Oceania’s 58kg Junior category and now she is top in America,” Coach Terry Sasser said.
This was Sasser’s first international competition since she represented the Marshall Islands at the Olympic Games in Brazil in August, where her lifts boosted her to number 11 globally in her weight category.
Sasser said she appreciated the opportunity to represent the Marshall Islands at the important lifting competition in the United States earlier this month. She is grateful to the Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee and the Marshall Islands Weightlifting Federation for their ongoing support of her training and competition efforts.
Read more about this in the December 23, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.