It's always nice to hear the Star Spangled Banner...But when you hear it being played because one of your athletes has just won the World Championships, well, then it is REALLY NICE!! The US team enjoyed that sound on two separate occasions today.
Our first World Champion was Michelle Van Dusen in the girls 48kg/105lb class, and our second was Eric Torres in the 56kg/123lb class. Eric also added a new World Bench Press Record to his championship. Both US teams stayed close in the Team competition and of course even though it is still only the first day of competition, we were trying to score every possible point we could.
Sheila Mays held on to take the Silver Medal overall in the 44kg/97lb class. She stayed very solid in second place until the Deadlift, when she got just a little out of sync on her second attempt and opened the door to the Russian girl. We had to make a quick adjustment to her attempt, provide a little coaching motivation...and of course she came through for us like we expected when she pulled 2.5kg more on her third attempt than her second forcing the Russian girl to try a weight she could not finish. Sheila's thrid deadlift became a very important lift for the girl's team as it pushed Russia into a third place spot which may prove to be very important later this week as we match up very well with the Russian team across the board and anything lower than second place will not be enough when it comes to the point totals.
As I wrote at the top of this evening's blog, Michelle Van Dusen handled herself very well as she should in her third World Championships. Michelle was never challenged and as a matter of fact one lifter moved all of the way up to 56kg/123lb class to try and compete for a first place victory.
The US moved our expected 52kg/114lb female, Katie Durham, up to the 56kg/123lb class as a team point maneuver. We anticipate Katie will do much better place wise in the 123lb class tomorrow afternoon, so she got to spend the day eating big time! Matter of fact I saw her this evening carrying not one, but two bags of Czech McDonalds food...smiling of course!
On the boys side of the competition, Thomas Soto at 52kg/114lb boys fought off a very painful hamstring injury to place 4th overall and Third in the squat. Just as he had squatted very well and benched himself into a postition to make a move for the podium his hamstring shot him down, allowing him only to complete his opening attempt. Thomas will have another opportunity again I am sure. He is an excellent lifter and competitor.
In the 56kg boys class we had Eric Torres who did place first and set a new World BenchPress record at 144kg/314lbs, but we also had competing one of our youngest lifters, Travis Charles @ 16 yrs old placed 5th overall in his first trip to the World Championships. Travis lifted extremely well and impressed all of the coaches with an 8 for 9 day and a few new personal records. I am sure, like Thomas Soto, we will see Travis on another Sub-Junior World Team very soon.
Rough scoring top 3 teams- Girls Sub-Juniors - US 21, Russia 28, Ukraine 37,
Boys Sub-Juniors - US 21, Russia 18, Japan 12
Tomorrow we will see the following lifters: 56kg/123lb girls - Katie Durham and another team shift, Kelsey King @ 60kg/132lbs.
Boys - Isaac Nunez @ 60kg/132lbs and two lifters at 67.5kg/148lb class Nick Laznovsky and Jason Rupnow.
Hopefully more gold will be had by the USA tomorrow!!
I hope you are getting to take advantage of watching the live streaming video at: www.youtube.com/powerliftingtv