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Road to Paris 2024: USA’s 19-Year-Old Weightlifter Ties World Record, Gets a Step Closer to Olympic Games

Published 02/13/2024, 8:35 PM EST

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As the 2024 Paris Olympics is only a few days away, athletes are gearing up while looking for an opportunity to take up an Olympics spot. Along similar lines, the USA’s weightlifting team came up at the 2024 European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, looking up for an Olympic berth at the big event of its amazing roster of 14 athletes. 

Soon after embarking on the mission to dominate the European Championships, one of the top contenders on the team is making waves throughout the weightlifting community. Months after accomplishing a gold to end USA’s over 50-year-old drought at worlds, a 19-year-old powerlifter has once again made it to rewrite his name in history. 

The Olympics is the only goal for Hampton Morris

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Recently, USA Weightlifting took to their Twitter account and posted a couple of pictures of Hampton Morris along with a heartfelt note to share the ecstatic news of his recent European Championship triumph with the spectators. Along with the pictures, they penned, “There’s no ceiling for Hampton Morris! EIGHT American Records tied the junior C&J world record, and jumped to the Olympic Qualifying Rankings! Unbelievable performance at the European Championships! “

Although Team USA faced a tough start at the European Championships commended on 12th February, the second day was quite exceptional. Hailing from Marietta, Georgia, Hampton seemed unstoppable at the weightlifting arena in Sofia, Bulgaria. Morris displayed his remarkable weightlifting skills as he shattered historical records by lifting 126 kg in the snatch.

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Besides this, he also lifted 171kgs in the clean and jerk to make 297kgs at the 61kg weight class. In a recent interview with USA Weightlifting, Hampton Morris said, “I feel amazing.” He added, “All I was thinking about was the OQR coming into today. I need to represent the United States in the Olympics – that’s what I’m working for.” Interestingly, Moris not only made it to snatch one but also accomplished setting eight records at one event.

Morris has one more step to cross toward Road to Paris 2024

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In total, Morris’ lift made new American Junior and Senior records. Apart from that, His 171kg lift in the clean and jerk tied the Junior World Record by Myong Jin Pak of the People’s Republic of Korea. Despite being at the top, Morris will not be winning the medals at the European Championships. Unfortunately, the USA’s weightlifting team is not eligible to take medals at home at the European Championships. 

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Team USA was ineligible since it officially falls in the Pan-American region. Therefore, the gold medal went to Bulgaria’s Gabriel Marinov. However, the USA’s weightlifting roaster is featuring at the event to uplift their Olympic ranks. Similarly, Morris’ powerful lift helped him improve his Olympic qualifying rankings.

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At the beginning of the event, Morris was placed at 10th position, but after shattering world records, he made it to make an uplift of 3 ranks and is now placed at 7th rank with his new 297kg record. Although Morris’ ranks make him comfortably higher at the top 10 of 61kgs, he has one more Paris 2024 qualifying meet to make it to the big Olympic event this year. Soon, Morris will be participating in the IWF World Cup this April. Will Morris be able to take up an Olympic spot this year??

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Written by:

Yashika Dutta

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Yashika Dutta is an Olympic Sports writer at EssentiallySports who actively covers NCAA Division 1 Volleyball. This state-level basketball player showcased her journalistic skills by covering live stats of the 2023 Big Ten Volleyball Championships and the 2023 NCAA Division 1 Women’s Volleyball Championships. Beyond the thrill of the court, Yashika delves into the combating realm covering NCAA wrestling, especially the celebrated careers of David Taylor and Spencer Lee. To know more about her, follow Yashika on:-
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Edited by:

BHUJAYA RAY CHOWDHURY