MARQUETTE, Mich. – United States Olympic Education Center weightlifter Paul Roberts (Bartow, Fla.) finished sixth overall in the 85-kilograms weight class at the University World Championships June 30-July 2 in Izmir, Turkey.
Roberts snatched 132 kg and clean-and-jerked 162 kg for a total of 294 kg in his debut performance at the championships.
He qualified to compete by winning gold at the National Collegiate Championships last April in Merrillville, Ind., where he snatched 140 kg and clean-and-jerked 173 kg for a total of 313 kg.
The short timeframe between the two competitions proved challenging for Roberts.
“The world championships were so close to the nationals, but Paul had almost recovered. He was at 95 percent,” said USOEC head weightlifting coach Ma Jianping.
Jianping accompanied Roberts to Turkey as he was selected by USA Weightlifting to serve as the University World Team’s head coach. He also coached the 2004 team, where the American men placed first and the women second.
“I think this competition was more difficult than before because there were more countries participating,” said Jianping. “The USA sent a full team. It was an opportunity to build for the Olympics in 2008.”
Call the USOEC office at 906-227-2888 for more information.