Back in June, Beaufort’s CJ Cummings ended a 22-year drought since an American last broke a weightlifting world record. This weekend, he made sure the wait for the next record wasn’t nearly as long.
The 16-year-old phenom broke one of his June records, matched another and swept all three gold medals in the 69-kilogram weight class Saturday at the IWF Youth World Championships in Penang, Malaysia.
Cummings lifted 182 kg (401 pounds) on his second attempt in the clean and jerk, breaking the youth mark he set in June while sweeping his division at the Junior World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Combined with a 135 kg lift (297 pounds) in the snatch — he was unsuccessful in attempting 138 kg (304 pounds) — his combined weight of 317 kg (698 pounds) matched the total he produced in Tbilisi.
That total also was 23 kg (51 pounds) more than runner-up Hussein Soltani of Iran.
Since coming up short last May in a longshot quest for the United States’ only weightlifting entry into the Rio Olympics, Cummings has broken four youth world records, matched one of those that he broke and taken home six gold medals at the youth and junior worlds.
Before June, the last American to break any sort of world record was Robin Byrd-Goad in 1994, coming at the women’s junior level. The last record broken by a U.S. male came in 1970, when Artie Dreschler also did it at the junior level.