Morris also broke a streak that lasted more than 50 years.
19-year old Hampton Morris has already made a name for himself as an Olympic weightlifter competing for Team USA. The young strength athlete has been a mainstay of the 61-kilogram (134.5-pound) Mens Junior division for the past two years, racking up gold medals on an international stage. His latest competitive appearance was no different.
On Sept. 6, at the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Weightlifting Championships held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Morris set a Junior World Record performing a 168-kilogram (370.4-pound) clean & jerk. This earned him a gold medal in the event which, to make the feat even more spectacular, is the first time since 1972 that an American Mens competitor has earned gold in the clean & jerk at this prestigious competition.
This accomplishment wasn’t Morris first claim to a record-setting clean & jerk. He first captured the Junior World Record in 2022 and has pushed it even higher on three occasions.
Hampton Morris (61KG) | Clean & Jerk Record Progression
- 160 kilograms (352.7 pounds) — 2022 IWF Junior World Weightlifting Championships
- 162 kilograms (357.1 pounds) — 2022 IWF Pan-American Championships
- 163 kilograms (359.3 pounds) — 2022 Pan American Junior Weightlifting Championships
- 168 kilograms (370.4 pounds) — 2023 IWF World Weightlifting Championships
Morris broke his own records with two of those lifts (162 kilograms and 163 kilograms) while besting his peers to set both his initial record and the most recent. In August 2023, Morris was successfully completed an even heavier lift — 175 kilograms (385.8 pounds) — during a training session, though his body weight at the time was unclear.
Unfortunately, Morris’ overall performance at the 2023 World Weightlifting Championships was less than ideal. His first clean & jerk attempt was a relatively comfortable opening weight of 163 kilograms (359.3 pounds). He then earned a red light by failing his second lift (168 kilograms/370.4 pounds). Morris was able to rally by locking out 168 kilograms (370.4 pounds) to secure the event win, gold medal, and Junior World Record.
Prior to the clean & jerk, he was unable to successfully complete any of his 123-kilogram (271.2-pound) snatch attempts and was subsequently unable to post a total for the comptition.
The IWF World Weightlifting Championships continue taking place from Sept. 4-17, which serves as a qualification event leading up to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. Without posting a total on the leaderboard of the World Weightlifting Championships, Morris’s participation in the Summer Games is not yet decided.
Featured Image: @hamptonmorris / Instagram