ANAHEIM (Reuters) - The United States’ long wait for a men’s weightlifting World Championships medal goes on after their big hope, teenager Clarence ‘CJ’ Cummings, failed to register a total on Friday.
The 17-year-old, a four times world champion at youth and junior level, failed in all three clean and jerk attempts in the 69 kilograms class, which was won by South Korean Won Jeong-sik with a total of 326kg. Tairat Bunsuk of Thailand was second (321kg) and Frenchman Bernardin Matam third (318).
Tunisian Karem Ben Hnia, who topped the rankings and had been expected to challenge for gold, also failed to register a total.
The last American man to win a World Championships medal was Wes Barnett, who was third in the now defunct 108kg class in 1997. Cummings was seen as the leading contender to end the 20-year wait.
Mattie Rogers, in Saturday’s 69 kg, and Sarah Robles in Tuesday’s super-heavyweights, are the top female medal contenders for the host nation.
The first European winner of the Championships, Romania’s Loredana-Elena Toma, timed her victory well in the women’s 63 kg class as it came on National Day in her homeland.
Toma, the European champion, was a clear winner on 237kg ahead of two Colombians, Lina Rivas and Mercedes Perez.
Reporting by Brian Oliver; Editing by Peter Rutherford