Vibert Snaps American Record at Thailand World Cup

PHUKET, Thailand - One word to describe Kate Vibert: Fighter. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medalist at 76 kg competed in the 81 kg weight class of the IWF World Cup in Phuket, Thailand, Tuesday afternoon, recording a 113 kg snatch and 145 kg clean and jerk for a 258 kg total and fourth place finish. Vibert set a personal snatch record, broke the American 81 kg C&J record, tied the 81 kg total American record, and moved into sixth in the 81 kg Olympic Qualifying Rankings with the performance, but despite the heroic effort, she couldn’t jump into the top-3 amongst U.S. lifters and ended her quad as a top-10-ranked athlete in two weight classes (71 kg & 81 kg).

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“I’m ecstatic about today,” Vibert said. “I went into today with the big open goal of hitting an Olympic qualifying total and a real goal of equalling at least my personal bests. It’s been a hard quad, especially with such a heavily competitive field, so I’m just happy I could leave it all on the platform and know that I did my best. I reflected my capabilities today and showed that I have more to give. It felt really good.

“This experience was nothing short of a rollercoaster. I started off this quad with an unexpected knee injury - I think four months from the World Championships. I was just drowning and trying to stay above water for that first half of the quad, and when I finally felt like I was back to my best, all of a sudden Olivia is breaking barriers. For me it went from ‘Let's just get back to where I was’ to now having a whole new standard to achieve, so it felt like I was always chasing, which I like - it keeps me hungry. It’s been a very humbling experience and I’m proud of myself for pushing through and my surgery is not an excuse but it made it hard and I’m really proud of myself and there’s nothing to be upset over. I think it’s incredible that I can be top-10 in two weight classes and still not make the Olympics. It’s a great reflection of how amazing the sport and team is in the U.S.”


Vibert went 4-for-6 on the day, missing a 116 kg snatch and 151 kg clean and jerk. Those combined would’ve been a 267 kg total which would’ve put her in an ideal position amongst U.S. lifters to make the Olympic team. As it stands, Olivia Reeves ( 71 kg, 2nd), Jourdan Delacruz (49 kg, 4th), and Mary Theisen-Lappen (+81 kg, 5th) lead the U.S. women’s rankings heading into the final day of competition in Thailand where Theisen-Lappen will defend her position.

Vibert and Reeves battled throughout the quad to be the top U.S. athlete at 71 kg, but ultimately Vibert elected to move up weight classes ahead of the European Championships in February, putting her head-to-head with Mattie Rogers. Vibert emphasized that that internal competition helped raise the tide across the board for all of the U.S. athletes.

“In any other country, me, Mattie, and Olivia would all be going to the Olympics, but in our case we have so many talented lifters in so many weight classes that it forces us to be better and become an international threat to everyone else. From the last quad to this quad I think the respect for the U.S. team has exponentially increased and we’ve gone from the underdogs to having to be taken seriously.”

“I didn’t know what to expect of Kate today,” said Spencer Arnold, her personal coach. “It was her choice and she came in ready to fight and that’s the Kate Vibert who the U.S. has always seen. It’s poetic justice in a way that she went out fighting in a way that wasn’t silly. Those weren’t dumb weights, they were weights she was capable of. A trio of personal records for a girl who has increased her total PR by double-digits and is top-10 in two weight classes. I’m super proud of her.”

“What a warrior and what a professional,” said Mike Gattone, head coach of Team USA. “You might have thought Kate was out of the running and then she comes up with these huge personal and American records, pushing it right to the last clean and jerk trying to make the Olympic team. She’s such an inspiration for other young lifters, and I think Kate’s performance showed too that if you’re a young woman in the United States right now and you want to make the Los Angeles Olympic team, look at what it takes. You have to be a killer. She’s ranked sixth in the world and she’s not high enough in the U.S. to make the top-3. I hope young lifters pay attention to that and really try hard to push their numbers. Kate’s amazing and her rise since 2018 has been phenomenal and she’s proving that she still has what it takes."