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American Jourdan Delacruz earns first world weightlifting championships medals

Jourdan Delacruz

USA’s Jourdan Elizabeth Delacruz competes in the women’s 49kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 24, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

American Jourdan Delacruz broke through with her first world weightlifting championships medals, finishing third in the 49kg division in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday.

Delacruz, a 25-year-old Tokyo Olympian, lifted 88kg (194 pounds) in the snatch and 112kg (246 pounds) for bronze in the clean and jerk. She reached the overall podium despite not making her opening lift in each.

“It definitely wasn’t nerves,” Delacruz said, according to USA Weightlifting. “We’ve just been doing so many reps at those weights that maybe I was overconfident. My prep was really good for this meet so even after missing, I knew I had it.”

Her total of 200kg matched her American record. It trailed only China’s Jiang Huihua, who broke the 49kg division world record with 215kg lifted, and Olympic gold medalist Hou Zhihui (211kg).

A nation can enter no more than one weightlifter per event at the Paris Games, so either Jiang, now a four-time world champion, or Hou will not be in the 49kg field next year.

Delacruz improved on her results from the 2022 Worlds (191kg for seventh place) and the Tokyo Games (missed three clean-and-jerk attempts at 108kg).

Delacruz’s parents both competed in bodybuilding. She converted to weightlifting from CrossFit training as a competitive cheerleader in 2014.

U.S. weightlifters had a resurgent Olympics in Tokyo, earning multiple medals (Kate Vibert’s silver and Sarah Robles’ bronze) for the first time since 2000. Vibert and Robles compete at worlds next week.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.