Robles becomes Team USAs 6th Pan American Champion to finish 2020 Pan American Championships strong

by USA Weightlifting

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (April 24, 2021) -- Team USA’s super heavyweight athletes wrapped up competition Saturday at the rescheduled 2020 Pan American Championships by adding six medals to the teams haul. Team USA won 36 medals total in an outstanding team effort at the last gold level qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Caine Wilkes took the platform first in the +109kg body weight category, winning all three silver medals. Wilkes made Snatch attempts of 170kg and 176kg. Combined with his best Clean and Jerk of 212kg, his total became 388kg to take second place. 

“I came here to make lifts and have some fun,” Wilkes told USA Weightlifting after the competition. “It’d been about a year since I’d been on an international platform so I wanted to come get the jitters out before bigger meets like Tokyo.”  

Wilkes used the competition as an opportunity to add points to his Olympic qualification standings and gain international experience on the platform, following the hiatus caused by the pandemic.

In the +87kg category, Sarah Robles successfully defended her Pan American Champion title from 2019, sweeping gold in the category. Robles made all three of her snatch attempts, at 115kg, 120kg then 125kg. Her best lift of 125kg matches the Pan American Record she currently holds, but is just shy of the American record of 128kg held by Olympian Cheryl Haworth.

“My main priority today was to improve my ROBI score so I can hopefully qualify for the Olympics,” Sarah told USA Weightlifting. 

Sarah made Clean and Jerk attempts of 150kg and 155kg. Combined with her 125kg Snatch, her total came to 280kg. 

Following the competition, Team USA was presented with team awards that account for the team’s performance as a whole. The women of Team USA are collective Pan American Champions, winning gold overall. Team USA men took the bronze team medal for their performances.

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