USA Weightlifting has announced its small team of weightlifting representatives for the 2019 Pan American Games – July 27-30th – made up of 4 male and 6 female athletes.
The Pan American Games occurs every 4 years and encompasses 39 different sports. As a team, USAW has qualified an additional three qualification spots than in 2015. The Pan American Games is a silver tier weightlifting competition unlike the gold of the Pan American Championships. This means it will offer up a 5% Robi bonus to all athletes who compete there, and will likely act as their first Olympic qualifying competition of the 2nd qualifying period.
Let’s take a look at the team and then talk about how they were chosen
- Harrison Maurus – 81 – NA
- Christian Rodriguez Ocasio – 81 – Dave Spitz
- Nathan Damron – 96 – Travis Mash
- Wes Kitts – 109 – Dave Spitz
- Jourdan Delacruz – 55 – Spencer Arnold
- Jessica Lucero – 59 – Russel McCarthy
- Hunter Elam – 59 – Travis Mash
- Mattie Sasser – 64 – David Ester
- Katherine Nye – 76 – Joshua Galloway
- Sarah Robles – +87 – Tim Swords
So there’s the team, but how were the athletes selected?
Well, each nation qualified athletes through their team’s scores from the 2017 and 2018 Pan-American Championships.
The top 3 teams qualify 6 of athletes, the following 4 teams qualify 4 athletes, the next 4 teams qualify 3 and so on. On the men’s side, the USA placed 4th with their combined placements from 2017 and 2018. As a result they qualify 4 athletes for the 2019 Pan American Games, just missing out on an additional two placements.
The women’s team performed better over the 2017 and 2018 Pan American Championships, placing 3rd and thus qualifying 6 athletes.
From this quota of 10 athletes USAW was then able to invite athletes. According to the official statement, they did this through ‘documented selection procedures and the athlete’s competitive totals at domestic and international competitions.’ Essentially, those most likely to bring home medals were selected.