The 2016 USAW American Open Series will take a look at two weight categories every weekday through Wednesday, December 7, the day before the start of the American Open.

Take a look at the previews already posted:
Women’s 48 | 53 | 58 | 63 | 69 | 75 | 90 | +90
Men’s 56 | 62 | 69 | 77 | 85 | 94 | 105 | +105

In recent events, the Men’s 94kg weight category has featured fireworks with the likes of Jared Fleming, Kendrick Farris, Norik Vardanian, Colin Burns and D’Angelo Osorio. While only Burns is back from that list, but that doesn’t mean the 94’s lacks a storyline.

Burns is the obvious favorite heading into this weekend, but what most fans are looking forward to seeing is if Nathan Damron can live up to his social media presence on the main platform.

The Men’s 94kg A Session is scheduled for Sunday, December 11, at 1:00pm EST, and will alongside the Women’s 69kg and 75kg A sessions.

Last year’s medalists were:

Place  Snatch Clean & Jerk Total
1 Colin Burns (165) Colin Burns (193) Colin Burns (358)
2 Robert Blackwell (155) Jason Bonnick (180) Robert Blackwell (331)
3 Jason Bonnick (147) Robert Blackwell (176) Jason Bonnick (327)

Here’s who to look out for this year…

Colin Burns

Colin Burns at U.S. Olympic Trials
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Andy Blaida)

Colin Burns is the defending 94kg American Open champion. With many of the other big names skipping last year’s American Open, Burns was not pushed and he went on to an easy win with a 358kg total. At the U.S. Olympic Trials, Burns finished with a 362kg total after a disappointed Clean & Jerk session missing two attempts at 202kg. Burns has one of the best looking snatches in all of weightlifting, but he may have to have a better Clean & Jerk to stay on top this year.


Nathan Damron

Nathan Damron at 2016 National Championships
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Patrick Costello)

Nathan Damron has been on fire on social media over the past several months. Every other Instagram post featured some sort of huge back squat PR. Within the last two weeks, Damron posted a 163kg snatch and a 205kg clean and jerk for a 368kg training total. That will put him in contention for a gold medal and a battle with Burns. Damron competed as an 85kg lifter at the National Championships so this will be his first meeting competing as a 94.


Robert Blackwell

Rob Blackwell at 2016 National Championships
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Josh Wilkinson)

Rob Blackwell has the third best entry total of the 94kg weight category. Blackwell took 2nd at last year’s American Open finishing behind Burns. If Burns and Damron live up to expectations, Blackwell will be fighting for the final spot on the podium with Phil Sabatini. Blackwell was edged out by 1kg by Sabatini at the 2016 National Championships after Sabatini hit his final clean and jerk at 190kg.


Phil Sabatini

Phil Sabatini at 2016 National Championships
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Josh Wilkinson)

As mentioned above, Sabatini and Blackwell are the two likely athletes to be competing for the bronze. Sabatini has the better clean and jerk so if he has a successful snatch he will be the favorite heading into the clean and jerk.

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