At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, 25-year-old Martha Ann “Mattie” Rogers will make her Olympic debut representing the USA in the 87-kilogram class. Rogers is originally from Apopka, FL, but trains at Catalyst Athletics, located in Oregon. She originally got into competitive weightlifting at age 18 after training CrossFit® methodology.
Rogers’s weightlifting resume is decorated with a plethora of national and international podium finishes, including two Senior Pan American records and six Senior American records. She is currently the highest-ranked International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) weightlifter at 81-kilograms.*
*Note: 81-kilograms is not a recognized Olympic weight category.
[Related: The Full 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Weightlifting Roster]
Rogers recently scored an American and Pan American snatch record of 111 kilograms (244.7 pounds) in the 81-kilogram class at the rescheduled 2020 Pan American Championships. Additionally, her total of 251 kilograms at that event is the current Pan American record. At the 2021 USA Weightlifting (USAW) National Championships, Rogers set three new American records, including a snatch one kilogram heavier than her Pan American record:
In addition to her gold medal at the 2020 Pan American Championships, Rogers has won silver at that event for four consecutive years from 2016-2019 (she competed at 69-kilograms in 2016-2018 and 71-kilograms in 2019). She has three podium finishes at the IWF World Championships — silver medals at the 2017 and 2019 contests in the 69-kilogram and 71-kilogram classes, respectively, and a bronze in 2018 at 71-kilograms.
Before the IWF approved new weightlifting categories in 2018, Rogers’s held all three American records in the 69-kilogram class. Her training for the 2021 Tokyo Games has involved consistently hitting lifts within a couple of kilos of both her snatch and clean & jerk records.
Rogers missed competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games by the narrowest of margins. It was the difference of a single lift at Team USA’s Women’s Olympic Trials in the 69-kilogram class. Rogers called for 141 kilograms (310.9 pounds) on the barbell for her final clean & jerk attempt — eight kilograms more than her personal best at the time. In her own words in a Facebook post following that event:
I simply did not have it in me that day. I sat in the stands and watched in Rio because of that one missed lift. No excuses. And if it doesn’t work out the first time… Work. Harder.
Suffice to say, she did work harder, and it paid off. She will be the first weightlifter from the USA to compete in the 87-kilogram class at an Olympic Games.
A post shared by Mattie Rogers (@mattiecakesssss)
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Here are all the athletes competing in the 87-kilogram class at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games:
Ten out of 14 of the athletes competing in this weight class currently appear in the top 21 of the IPF’s global rankings. Rogers is missing from that list but, as previously mentioned, is currently the number one ranked 81-kilogram female weightlifter worldwide. Here are the 87-kilogram class IWF rankings:
Heading into the 2020 Games, the world record standards for 87-kilograms have yet to be hit. It is not clear if anyone on the roster will call for a world record standard weight on the barbell. None of the higher-ranked lifters have come within range of the world record standards in a previous competition.
The number one ranked Zhouyu won gold recently at 87-kilograms at the rescheduled 2020 Asian Championships. Her 286-kilogram (630.5-pound) total was eight kilos shy of the world record standard.
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Rogers’ recent American and Pan American record-setting performances give her plenty of momentum heading into the Games. Her move up in weight to the 87-kilogram class appears, at least on paper, to give her one of the best shots of any Team USA member to land on the podium.
The Women’s 87-kilogram category groups B and A will compete in Tokyo on Aug. 1, 2021, at 10:50 p.m. EST and Aug. 2, 2021, at 2:50 a.m EST, respectively.
Note: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. Unless otherwise specified on certain content, the two organizations maintain editorial independence. They collaborated on this article series.
Feature image courtesy of USA Weightlifting
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