Sunday night, the U.S. Women’s Olympic Weightlifting team headed to Rio de Janeiro was officially determined and Mattie Rogers will not be a member of 2016 team.
Only two of three spots were available coming into Sunday’s event. It concluded with Sarah Robles, favorite to lock in a spot and fresh off a two year ban for testing positive for illegal substances and Morghan King qualifying for the vacant spots. Jenny Arthur will occupy the third spot, which she secured privy to last nights event with her performances at the 2014 and 2015 World Championships.
Social media darling Mattie Rogers made things interesting as the night progressed by setting and matching a record in the 69kg class. She lifted a snatch of 106 kg on her second attempt and matched her total record of 238 kg after a clean and jerk of 132 kg on her second attempt. It was only after her failed to lift of 141 kg. on her final clean and jerk attempt that sealed her fate. Olympic selection for the final two women’s spots is based on athletes’ ability to medal, calculated from performances at four events. Robles led the pack with more than 96 percent heading into trials. Rogers was second, followed by King.
Seemingly strong willed, Rogers posted this on her Instagram last night vowing this wasn’t the end and good things are still in store.
For 2 years I've played catch up. Gotta improve 5kg at this meet. 10kg at this meet. PR both lifts at this meet. Just to make up for lost time from starting so late into the quad. 99% of the time, I've some how squeezed by. Earning a spot here, there, setting this record or that record. Improving my total by 60kg since the first time I was ranked as an alternate for the Jr Pan Am team in 2014 and the never ending game of catch up began. I haven't competed in a single competition in the last two years that an increase was not necessary. I have pushed and fought my way to the top few spots first in the junior division, then slowly in the senior division. This time, I didn't have what was needed in me. I fought with everything I had and though it was possible, I lost this battle. Heart breaking is an understatement. Making the Olympic team is all I've ever wanted. It is everything I have thought, dreamed, worked and LIVED for every single day for the last 2 years. Those who I've seen discredit me because "this isn't a popularity contest, she just isn't good enough. The ranking is the way it is for a reason"; you're wrong. I am good enough. I am strong enough. And I will come back better. The ranking is based off of very specific numbers and a process that is probably too confusing for most to understand. It is very disrespectful to bash someone because of their social media presence. It means nothing in this sport. What matters is what is lifted. After a slight confusion and miscalculation, I was awarded best lifter at the USAW Senior National Championship and Olympic Trials. An award given based off of Sinclair (body weight to weight lifted percentage), naming me the number 1 lifter pound for pound in the United States. Granted it means nothing in terms of the Olympic team, but it a nice award to receive. On to the next, Pan American Championships next month. This is not the end, it's just the beginning. Congratulations to the 3 women representing the United States in Rio @jenny.arthur @kingmorghan @roblympian, you all deserve it. #EarnedNotGiven #HeadDownEyesForward
On the men’s side, eight weightlifters advanced to the Pan American Championships in June in Colombia with one slot to Rio on the line. The eight qualifiers are Kendrick Farris, Norik Vardanian, Alex Lee, Caine Wilkes, James Tatum, Wesley Kitts, Travis Cooper and Donovan Ford.
Farris won the 94 kg. weight class after he set an American record with a total of 377 kg. A clean and jerk of 209 kg. helped push Farris over the top. Farris is seeking his third Olympic bid after previously competing in the Beijing 2008 Games and London 2012 Games, where he finished eighth and 10th.