Olivia Reeves sets New Junior World Records, adds to her World Championships Medal Count

September 13, 2023 (Riydah, Saudi Arabia) – Olivia Reeves solidified her position as a powerhouse for Team USA women, writing her name in the record and history books Wednesday at the 2023 Weightlifting World Championships. Her success on the platform in the 71kg category includes breaking six records, earning three medals and becoming the heaviest American woman in history to clean and jerk double her body weight. 

She’s now medaled in every one of the three consecutive World Championships she’s appeared at, bringing her World Championships medal count to 5. Her bronze medal in the snatch, silver in the clean and jerk and bronze in total add to her silver medal in the snatch from 2021 and bronze medal in clean and jerk from the 2022 World Championships. 

Reeves opened the competition with a 105kg clean and jerk on the platform after taking the same weight in the warm up area. She followed up that lift with successful attempts at 108kg and 111kg, just one kilo shy of the 112kg Junior and Senior American Record set by Kate Vibert at the 2019 World Championships, the year she was named 71kg World Champion. It’s the only record Reeves didn’t break Wednesday, but one she has her sights set on, she told USA Weightlifting after the competition. 

“Once Steve (Reeves’ Coach) saw 105kg he was like, ‘man, we could’ve opened heavier and gone 113kg,” she said. “Not to be too greedy.” 

Teammate and former World Champion Kate Vibert competed in the same session, making a best snatch of 107kg after missing it on her first attempt. She missed 111kg on her final snatch attempt, coming in 8th place in the lift.

In the clean and jerk portion of the competition, Reeves made attempts of 133kg and 138kg before putting the Junior world record on the bar, strategic numbers when it comes to Olympic qualification. 

“We knew 138kg would put me on the OQR (Olympic Qualification Ranking), so once I did that,  I got to go for 142kg.” 

The lift broke the Junior and Senior American Records as well as the Junior World record in the lift and total, capping off a six-for-six performance. Reeves’ 253kg total is her personal best by 6kg.

Vibert’s best clean and jerk of 137kg gave her a 244kg total that places her fifth in the world. Between them, Vibert and Reeves now own all three Junior World Records in the 71kg category.

In the 96kg B session, earlier on Wednesday, Nathan Damron opted to forgo his attempts at the world championships. His appearance and weigh-in at this mandatory qualifier for Paris 2024 keeps him eligible to remain in the qualification process. 

Ryan Sester (102kg B) and Meredith Alwine (76kg A) will compete in Riyadh on Thursday. Team USA’s schedule and live stream information are available here.

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