Jourdan Delacruz’s and Mattie Rogers’ record-setting performances at the 2020 Pan American Weightlifting Championships headlined a strong United States showing in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Delacruz won the Women’s 49 kg/108 lbs. competition with a Pan American record total of 200 kg/441 lbs. Her marks in the snatch (89 kg/196 lbs.) and clean & jerk (111 kg/245 lbs.) were both record lifts for the Americas.
In the non-Olympic Women’s 81 kg/179 lbs. weight class, Florida native Mattie Rogers set two Pan American records – a snatch of 111 kg/245 lbs. and a total of 251 kg/533 lbs. – en route to the gold medal.
“I didn’t know the 111 kg was a record while I was lifting it. Our plan was to go 105 kg, 108 kg, 110 kg,” Rogers told USA Weightlifting after the competition. “But we decided if we needed something to win, we’d just put it on the bar.”
In addition to Delacruz and Rogers, four other Americans left Santo Domingo with gold medals: Clarence “C.J.” Cummings, Jr. in the Men’s 73 kg/160 lbs. competition, Cicely Kyle in the non-Olympic Women’s 45 kg/99 lbs. competition, Meredith Alwine in the non-Olympic Women’s 71 kg/157 lbs. competition and 2016 Rio bronze medalist Sarah Robles in the Women’s 87+ kg/191+ lbs. competition.
Each of those athletes bolstered their ranking for potential qualification to the Tokyo Olympics this summer. The 2020 Pan American Championships, postponed to April 19-24, 2021, served as a “Gold Level” competition toward Olympic qualification.
Generally, the top eight ranked athletes per weight class receive invitations to the Olympics. Delacruz especially benefited from her record-setting victory, as she had been near the cutoff point in the Women’s 49 kg/108 lbs. rankings.
“There’s definitely some pressure there, this was a big qualifier for the Olympics,” Delacruz told USA Weightlifting after the competition. “At the same time I felt like I was in a really good head space so I actually wasn’t all that anxious.”