This is only my understanding, not based on any official USAW communication, but it appears we currently have two women's slots locked down for the 2012 Olympics and zero men's slots. This matters because this AO is the first domestic qualifier for the Olympic Trials which will be held in March in conjunction with Senior Nationals. Because we did not secure anywhere near a high enough placing at Worlds to qualify any men, technically it appears Nationals will not actually be the men's Olympic Trials, and only the Pan American Championship team members a month or two later will be eligible if they can earn themselves a top-four team placing and the last-chance slot.
The qualifying totals have been increased for most of the weight classes in response to last year's attendance, and at a glance it seems that the competition is getting tougher. Nearly all of the weight classes are filled out with plenty of battles.
Katzenmeier's World and ECG teammate Rizelyx Rivera, who recently set a new American record snatch, sits atop the 58kg women, although veteran Jackie Berube (Pinnacle Weightlifting) is not far behind.
The 63kg class will be one to watch, with returning Olympian Natalie Burgener (Team Crossfit) vying for one of the two coveted women's Olympic team spots. There is a large group of strong women behind her, however, and Ashley Perkovich (Unattached), Vanessa McCoy (Wesley Weightlifters), and Jessie Humeston (Front Range WLC) are only a few of the top contenders.
The 75+kg women's class will be a fight between Holley Mangold (Columbus WLC) and Chioma Amaechi (Hassle Free BBC). Chioma took the second 75+kg women's spot on both the Pan American and World Teams this year from Holley by tying her total and winning on bodyweight. Both will be possible Olympians next year, although Sarah Robles, our top finisher at Worlds this year, will surely try to qualify at the Olympic Trials/Nationals next March.
I am excited to see this year's competition. Last year there was an infamous battle in the 85kg/94kg combined A session, with Jared Fleming (East Coast Gold) winning with a Junior American record 190kg clean and jerk over North and Sabatini while Zach Krych at 85kg snuck in at the end making 191kg and winning his class (and also the next!) with his 344kg total.
Last year I had a rough meet, bombing in the snatch but winning the gold in the clean and jerk. I was recovering from a severe groin injury that had put me totally out of commission only a couple months prior, and while I was strong I was not ready for heavy snatches. Since then, however, I have had my longest stretch without any major injuries (a couple minor tweaks, no big deal), and it's definitely showing. While I don't tend to really "test" the snatch and clean and jerk in training, I have hit several training PRs in each and even clean and jerked an all-time best 165kg. There is plenty of room for more weight in both lifts, and while my entry total doesn't reflect it - I rarely bother to make 77kg - I am in this meet with the singular goal of three gold medals! For the first time ever I think I am really ready, and I can win it on my own terms.
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