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Stacked weekend of weightlifting features five Team USA athletes at the IWF World Championships in Saudi Arabia

September 10, 2023 (Riydh, Saudi Arabia) – Current American record holders, Taylor Wilkins and Danielle Gunnin took the World Championships stage Friday in Riyadh, representing Team USA in the 59kg A session. Wilkins took the platform first, making her 93kg snatch opener before missing 97kg on her 2nd attempt. She made her final snatch attempt of 98kg, besting her previous personal best of 97kg. 


Gunnin also came away with a best snatch of 98kg, completing the lift on her final attempt after missing the weight on her first and second attempts. Speaking with USA Weightlifting after the competition, Gunnin explained where her intensity on the platform originates.


“I get to do this,” she said. “How many people get to say that? We’ve waited almost five years to be here. That passion is long burning, it’s been lots of hard work and I wanted to show that.”


In the clean and jerk portion of the competition, Gunnin made 118kg on her second attempt after missing the weight on her first. She tried 123kg on her third attempt but missed, making her total 216kg. 


Wilkins was successful on her opening attempt of 122kg, missing 126kg and 127kg on her remaining attempts. 


“122 is the heaviest I’ve ever opened at,” Wilkins told USAW after the session. “It’s kind of a routine number. We knew we’d need big jumps. My clock got stolen after 126kg so we had to go to 127kg. To clean 127 like that and then miss the jerk is kind of frustrating. I’m confident it’s there.”


She totalled 220kg, just one kilo shy of her American record and placing her 10th in the world. 


Caden Cahoy represented Team USA in the 73kg C session Saturday morning in Riyadh, while Ryan Grimsland took the platform in the 73kg B session later in the day. Cahoy made his first and second snatch attempts of 133kg and 137kg before missing 141kg on his last attempt. In the clean and jerk, he missed 173kg twice before making the weight on his 3rd attempt for a 310kg total. 


Grimsland made his first two snatch attempts at 140kg and 145kg before missing 148kg on his last attempt. He took the last three attempts of the clean and jerk portion of the session in a row following a fast-paced competition. His opening attempt of 181kg was a good lift. With just two minutes between lifts, he missed 188kg on his second and third clean and jerk attempts. 


“After everyone’s misses, I’m tired. After every attempt I got more tired,” Grimsland told USA Weightlifting. He finished the competition with a 326kg total. 


In his fourth senior World Championships appearance, CJ Cummings took the platform in the 89kg C session Sunday evening. He made his opening snatch attempt of 144kg before missing 149kg on his second. Cumming’s third snatch attempt was a good lift with 150kg on the bar. 


Describing his goals for the competition, CJ said he aims to improve his lifts one kilo at a time. “We just treated it as a workout, so we didn’t try to max out. We’re just trying to improve one kilo at a time.” 


He did more than that, improving his total from the Grand Prix I in Cuba by 16kg. In the clean and jerk portion of the competition, he made 178kg and 186kg before missing 193kg on his third attempt for a total of 336kg. 


Team USA takes a break from competition on Monday and Tuesday, returning to the platform on Wednesday September 13th, when Nathan Damron competes in the 96kg B session and Kate Vibert and Olivia Reeves face off in the 71kg A.

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