Hampton Morris Shatters 8 American Records, Climbs Olympic Qualifying Rankings

SOFIA, Bulgaria - USA Weightlifting’s Hampton Morris is seemingly unstoppable. The 19 year old from Marietta, Georgia, opened the European Championships Tuesday night in Sofia, Bulgaria, for Team USA and had yet another career day. Morris lifted 126 kg in the snatch and 171 kg in the clean and jerk for a 297 kg total at 61 kg. His top lifts were both new American junior and senior records, as were his two totals. In total, Morris set eight new American records through the competition, and his 171 C&J tied the junior world record (Myong Jin Pak, People’s Republic of Korea). Morris improved his Olympic qualifying ranking by several places too, jumping from 10th with a 292 to seventh with his new 297. The new ranking puts him comfortably higher in the 61 kg top-10 with one more Paris 2024 qualifying meet to go (IWF World Cup, April).

Hampton Morris' best lifts from the European Championships

“I feel amazing,” Morris said after coming off the platform. “All I was thinking about was the OQR coming into today. I need to represent the United States in the Olympics - that’s what I’m working for.”

Morris was still shaking long after stepping off the platform, but it was clear that he is far from what he thinks his best possible performance is.

“We loaded 175 a few times,” Morris said. “It’s clear what I might shoot for next.”

“What an amazing performance, the kid was a machine,” said Mike Gattone, Senior Director of Sport Performance for USA Weightlifting. “First of all, I want to point out and affirm how well his dad trains him and acknowledge the system they have going. Hampton’s snatch really set us up for a fantastic day. The clean and jerk is Hampton’s lift - everyone knows that - and he was so steady, super calm, having a good time, and was just really being himself. He’s maturing every day and the sky’s the limit for him.”

“I’m just proud. I’m super proud of Hampton,” said Tripp Morris, Hampton’s father and coach. “He’s had a rough go mentally since the Doha Grand Prix, but he picked himself up about three weeks ago and really turned it around like he needed to. This was the maximum of what we had planned. We had planned 122 kg, 124kg, and 126 kg in the snatch. He missed the opener at 122 but smoked the second lift which gave our coaching staff the confidence to go for the 126, but then we started questioning the plan. In the clean and jerk we planned to go 167 kg, 168 kg, and 171 kg, but 167 didn’t make sense so we adjusted and went 168, 171, and 173. We’re going to evaluate how we’ll tackle the Thailand World Cup once we go home but there’s certainly an argument to go heavier. We need to check and make sure there’s nothing we’re missing before we gameplan too much for that meet though.”

Morris’ 297 kg total was 16 kg above Bulgaria’s Gabriel Marinov who officially claimed gold at the meet, but the U.S. is ineligible to win medals during this competition so Morris didn’t officially reach the platform. Team USA is officially in the Pan American region and would ordinally compete in the Pan American Championships, but this year’s PAC being hosted in Venezuela presented logistical and safety challenges for the team.

Up Next

Team USA’s next competitor is Taylor Wilkins who lifts in the women’s 59 kg A session Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 10:00 a.m. ET.