USA Weightlifting Sends Talented Team Of 10 To IWF World Championships

by USA Weightlifting

Sarah Robles competes at the Tokyo Olympics (Photo by USA Weightlifting)
Sarah Robles competes in the women's +87kg at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 2, 2021 in Tokyo.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Led by world and Olympic medalists, USA Weightlifting is fielding a team of 10 accomplished athletes for the 2021 IWF World Championships, which are underway in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, through Dec. 17.

The team ranges from 18-year-old Olivia Reeves (71kg; Chattanooga, Tenn.), the youngest U.S. lifter who earlier this year won both the junior world and junior Pan American Games titles, to her worlds roommate Sarah Robles (+87kg; San Jacinto, Calif.), who won the 2017 world title and this summer earned her second Olympic medal. Reeves makes her senior international debut at this meet, while Robles returns to competition for the first time since the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Fellow Olympian Mattie Rogers (76kg; Geneva, Fla.) is eager to extend a medal streak that saw her claim seven medals across the 2017, 2018 and 2019 World Championships. She is the first American to medal at three consecutive senior worlds in 25 years.

Competing on the men’s side is Jacob Horst (73kg; Leesport, Pa.), Travis Cooper (89kg; Saunderstown, R.I.), Ian Wilson (109kg; Berkeley, Calif.) and Keiser Witte (+109kg; Phoenix, Ariz.), while the women include Meredith Alwine (71kg; Virginia Beach, Va.), Reeves, Rogers, Laura Alexander (87kg; San Jose, Calif.), Juliana Riotto (87kg; Fairfield, N.J.) and Robles.

Six of the 10 Americans have previously medaled at the senior, junior or youth world championships, amassing a collective 27 IWF world medals across their impressive careers.

All six women, plus Wilson, have entry totals that placed them in their body-weight category’s A session in Tashkent.

The world team also initially included the following athletes, who withdrew recently primarily due to concerns around the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant and travel restrictions in Uzbekistan: Beau Brown (89kg; Colby, Kan.), CJ Cummings (81kg; Beaufort, S.C.), Jourdan Delacruz (49kg; Wylie, Texas), Ryan Grimsland (67kg; Hickory, N.C.), Cicely Kyle (45kg; Pensacola, Fla.), Kate Nye (76kg; Berkley, Mich.), Ryan Sester (102kg; Gresham, Ore.), Jessie Stemo (81kg, Milwaukee, Wis.), Taylor Wilkins (59kg; McKinney, Texas).

Six of those athletes chose to instead compete at last weekend’s 2021 North American Open Finals in Denver and all earned medals. Riotto and Rogers are also coming off Finals victories.

“While Omicron has caused us to send a smaller than usual team to the World Championships, we are thrilled to once again arrive with significant medal opportunities for success,” USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews said. “As we turn our attention from Tokyo to Paris, it's also thrilling to see several debutants on this team.”

Alexander, Horst, Reeves and Riotto are all making their senior-level world championships debuts.

After placing fourth at the 2021 Pan American Championship, Alexander is actually making her world debut at any level. At 33 years old, she, Cooper and Robles are the oldest members of the team. Cooper, who is competing at his first worlds in six years, turns 34 in January.

Alternatively, this marks three-time Olympian Robles’ eighth senior world championships; she also competed at junior worlds in 2008. Wilson rivals her in world championship experience. Though this is just his second senior worlds, the 27-year-old lifted at four junior worlds and two youth worlds.

Alwine and Riotto could have a leg up on their competition thanks to familiarity with the location; both won junior world medals in Tashkent in 2018. Alwine swept the 75kg silvers, while Riotto earned a medal of each color at 90kg, including snatch gold.

Six of the world team members have already medaled on the international stage this year, including Alwine, Horst, Rogers and Witte at last month’s Pan American Championship.

Horst is the first to compete for Team USA, at 10:30 a.m. local time on Friday (12:30 a.m. ET), while Robles is the last at 1 p.m. local on Friday, Dec. 17 (3 a.m. ET). A full schedule of the U.S. team is below. Competition can be streamed at

The U.S. earned eight medals at the most recent world championships in 2019 thanks to Nye (71kg), Rogers (71kg) and 2016 Olympian Jenny Arthur (81kg). The last U.S. man to medal was 2020 Olympian Harrison Maurus, who took 77kg bronze in 2017.


Name;  Session;  Competition Schedule (ET)

Jacob Horst;  73kg B;  Friday, Dec. 10, 12:30 a.m.

Travis Cooper;  89kg C;  Saturday, Dec. 11, 10:30 p.m.

Meredith Alwine;  71kg A;  Monday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m.

Olivia Reeves;  71kg A;  Monday, Dec. 13, 9 a.m.

Mattie Rogers;  76kg A;  Tuesday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m.

Ian Wilson;  109kg A;  Thursday, Dec. 16, 6 a.m.

Laura Alexander;  87kg A;  Thursday, Dec. 16, 9 a.m.

Juliana Riotto;  87kg A;  Thursday, Dec. 16, 9 a.m.

Keiser Witte;  +109kg B;  Friday, Dec. 17, 12 a.m.

Sarah Robles;  +87kg A;  Friday, Dec. 17, 3 a.m.

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