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Hampton Morris breaks world record, closes in on Olympic weightlifting spot

Hampton Morris became the first American man to break a senior weightlifting world record since 1969 and all but clinched his first Olympic berth on Tuesday.

Morris, a 20-year-old from Georgia who is coached by his dad, broke the world record in the clean and jerk in the 61kg weight class by lifting 176 kilograms (388 pounds) at a World Cup in Thailand.

He also broke the American records in the snatch with a 127-kilogram lift and for his total weight lifted of 303 kilograms between the snatch and clean and jerk.

Morris finished second overall in Tuesday’s competition and moved up from seventh to second in global Olympic qualifying rankings behind Tokyo Olympic champion Li Fabin of China.

After the World Cup, 10 lifters in each men’s and women’s weight class qualify for the Olympics. There is a maximum of one lifter per country per class, and a nation can enter no more than three lifters per gender across all five classes per gender.

Morris was the lone American man in the top 10 of any weight class going into the World Cup. The rest of the top Americans will compete in the coming days.

Morris can become the youngest American weightlifter to compete at an Olympics since Cheryl Haworth at the 2000 Sydney Games, according to the OlyMADMen.

The last U.S. men’s weightlifting medals came at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.

The top American women in Olympic qualifying going into the World Cup were Olivia Reeves (ranked second at 71kg), Jourdan Delacruz (ranked fourth at 49kg) and Mary Theisen-Lappen (ranked fifth at +81kg).