Team USA’s Harrison Maurus set a world record with a 192-kilogram (423-pound) clean and jerk at the International Weightlifting Federation Youth World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, winning the world title and capping off an historic 24 hours for American Olympic weightlifting.
“Walking up to the platform, I knew it was going to be heavy,” Maurus, 17, of Auburn, said with a laugh. “It was an incredible feeling. It was awesome. It made me hungry for another championship.”
Coupled with a 140-kg snatch, Maurus totaled 332 kilograms, easily winning the Youth World title. Maurus’ 192-kg clean and jerk also set youth, junior and senior American records.
“It was pretty surreal,” said Maurus’ coach, Kevin Simons. “I have been working with this kid since he was 10 years old. This is the proudest moment in my life in athletics. Harrison has the discipline of a champion. He does all the small stuff to win. He stays on top of his sleep, his diet, his training.
Maurus, a junior at Auburn Riverside High School, was crowned Youth World champion of the men’s 77-kg weight category less than a day after his teammate, C.J. Cummings, 16, of Beaufort, South Carolina, was crowned Youth World champion of the men’s 69-kg weight class. Maurus and Cummings are the first American men to hold world championships at the same time since Bob Bednarski and Joseph Dube won their respective weight categories at the 1969 World Weightlifting Championships.
The United States now holds three world records: Cummings’ Youth World record 185-kg clean and jerk set Friday, Maurus’ Youth World record 192-kg clean and jerk set Saturday and Cheryl Haworth’s Youth World record 125-kg snatch set at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
“It was an unbelievable day,” said Mike Gatton, USA Weightlifting assistant director of national teams. “Harrison came in and was off the charts. After watching the American flag raised and the Star-Spangled Banner played two nights in a row, I told our team we must believe we all have what it takes to be world champions. It was an emotional way to end the day.”
Maurus’ achievement happened in the midst of a new golden era for USA Weightlifting. Cummings’ first world record at last year’s Junior World Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia, was the first world record set by an American man in more than 40 years. Sarah Robles’ bronze medal performance last summer in Rio de Janeiro was the first Olympic medal to be won by an American weightlifter since 2000. Now, with Maurus’ achievement in Bangkok, the future remains bright for USA Weightlifting.
“This is an incredible time for Olympic weightlifting in the United States,” USA Weightlifting CEO Phil Andrews said. “Harrison was nothing short of magical tonight. The whole nation is proud of his achievements.”
Video of the World Record lift is available here, courtesy of the International Weightlifting Federation.