(ATR) The first Pan American Weightlifting Championship organized in person in more than a year confirms that Colombia and the United States lead the way in the sport on the continent.
Colombia garnered the most gold medals with a total of 22. Fourteen continental records were established, five of them by Colombians. US women also set five in the event held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
While Colombian men won 19 golds, the USA women topped the podium 13 times during the competition organized from April 19 to 25 by the Dominican Federation with the endorsement of the Pan American Weightlifting Federation (FPLP).
In the general table, Colombia won 43 medals (22-11-10) followed by the USA with 39 (15-11-13).
In the classification of teams by points, in men Colombia was first (706), followed by Cuba (675) and USA (628). In women, USA (762), Colombia (692) and Mexico (628)
More than 250 competitors from 24 countries were back competing together after more than a year of absence due to the coronavirus pandemic that forced the postponement of this continental championship in 2020.
According to William Osuna, president of the Dominican Federation, the biosafety measures adopted by the organizers were complied with and no case of Covid-19 was registered.
The event was a Gold Level IWF rated competition that allowed athletes to accumulate valuable points to be added to the final rankings with a view to the Tokyo Olympics.
The competition also opened the qualifying process for the Central American and Caribbean Games, which will be held in either Mayaguez (Puerto Rico) in 2022 or San Salvador (El Salvador) in 2023. A decision will be made in the next few days.
Canadian Maude Charron (64 kg) and Colombian Jhonatan Rivas (96 kg) were selected the most outstanding weightlifters for the level of their records.
The president of the Colombian Federation, William Peña, believed that Colombian weightlifting is preparing "the best performance in history" at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
For the president of the Pan American Federation, José Quiñones, having been able to carry out the postponed Pan American Championship in Santo Domingo "with great success" is the first aspect to highlight. Quiñones also praised the marks made by athletes that bring them closer to the Olympic classification, despite the period of more than a year of international inactivity.
As of May 9, the South American and Ibero-American Championships and a World Open will be organized in Cali, Colombia, in which the classifications must be outlined with a view to Tokyo.
Homepage photo: USA Weightlifting
Written and reported by Miguel Hernandez
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