Golden Girl Mattie Sasser
Mattie’s Pacific Games weightlifting win: Three golds!
December, 2017: On the first day of the Pacifi Mini Games weightlifting competition, Marshall Islands’ weightlifter Mattie Sasser dominated the women’s 63kg category, setting five Oceania and five Pacific Games records on her way to three gold medals — the maximum possible gold medals for a weightlifter to win in the competition.
Her 219kg (483lbs) total was 46kg (101lbs) above silver-medalist Amanda Gould of New Zealand and bronze-medalist Maximina Uepa of Nauru. “I have been training very hard and my Dad (and coach) mentioned that the competition would not be very strong,” Mattie said. “Without the pressure of competitors, he challenged me to go for a perfect competition, six for six lifts” — which she did.
Mattie’s first snatch of 90kg (198lbs) was a competition personal best, breaking the Oceania and Pacific Games records on her final snatch of 96kg (212lbs).
“After her record-breaking snatch, I knew the clean and jerk would be no problem,” said Coach Terry Sasser. “She was in her zone and I knew nothing would stop her except for small mistakes. My job was to keep her focused.”
Her second clean and jerk of 121kg (267lbs) broke the standing Oceania and Pacific Games records and her third lift of 123kg (271lbs) broke them all again and established a new 63kg Oceania and Pacific Games record total of 219kg (483lbs).
The Mini-Games wrapped up Sasser’s 2017 competition schedule. “The 2017 journey is over and I can’t wait for 2018,” she said on social media. Teammate Tauati Noere battled for bronze in the 85kg category. His final clean and jerk attempt of 171kg (377lbs) would have secured bronze if successful. He cleaned the weight, which was a personal best, but he just missed the jerk and the bronze medal.
Marshall Islands Weightlifting President Tony Muller said, “both of these lifters are remarkable.”
Image details: The award podium at the Pacific Mini-Games in Vanuatu last week, with Mattie Sasser in the middle receiving three gold medals. She defeated Amanda Gould of New Zealand, left, and Maximina Uepa of Nauru. Photos: Peter Carroll, Van 2017 Media.
Note: The above story first appeared in the Marshall Islands Journal.
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Pacific Games weightlifting win: Three golds!