MARQUETTE—United States Olympic Education Center weightlifter Paul Roberts (Bartow, Fla.) won his first international medal at the University World Championships Aug. 9-12 in Lima, Peru. He placed second in the snatch of the 85-kilogram division.
“I’ve lifted 145 kilograms in practice before, but I’ve only lifted 143 in competition,” said the Northern Michigan University junior. “I lifted 135 kilograms in my first attempt and 138 in my second. In my third lift, I knew I had to [push myself to] lift 142 kilograms after the Dominican [Juan Quiterio] lifted it, so I could tie to get second.”
Roberts lifted his way to sixth in the clean-and-jerk by clearing 160 kg in his first attempt. He missed subsequent attempts of 165 and 167 kg.
“I just wanted to put a total down in the first lift,” Roberts said. “I cleaned the bar fairly easily in the second lift, but my left elbow didn’t lock. The judges caught it [and counted it as a miss.] I cleaned the bar in the final attempt, but I lost the jerk out in front.”
Roberts lifted a total weight of 302 kg to place fourth overall in his weight class. He helped lead the American men’s team to a second-place finish behind China.
The American women’s team also took second, following Peru. NMU graduate Rachel Hearn (Savannah, Ga.) won bronze at 75-plus kg for her 122-kg lift in the clean-and-jerk. Leading up to her final lift, she cleared 117 and 121 kg. Hearn missed her first snatch attempt at 88 kg, but cleared it in her second attempt. In her third attempt, she lifted 91 kg to take fourth in the style. She totaled 213 kg to take fourth overall in her weight class.
Roberts watched Hearn lift at the competition.
“Her cleans were easy,” he said. “The first one was a little rough, but, for the most part, it was good. She probably should have gotten third overall, but the Thai girl [Metiya Suesat] beat her in the snatch.”
NMU juniors Collin Ito (Vista, Calif.) and Justin Brimhall (Miami, Fla.) also placed fourth overall in their respective 105-plus- and 77-kg weight classes. Ito placed fourth in both lifting styles. He cleared 143 kg in the snatch and 181 kg in the clean-and-jerk, totaling 324 kg. Brimhall lifted 114 kg for fourth place in the snatch and 139 kg to place sixth in the clean-and-jerk. He lifted a total weight of 253 kg.
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