by Terry Finisterre
Saint Lucia’s Jessica Jean placed fourth at the recently-concluded American Open Series Finals Lands in Salt Lake City, under the auspices of USA Weightlifting.
Held 5-8 December at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center, the competition brought together the best weightlifters in the United States. Jean, a native of the Bexon in Castries, Saint Lucia, moved to the USA from Canada, where she was first introduced to the sport of weightlifting.
At the AO Final, Jean weighed in at 53.30kg, the lightest woman in the 55kg class. 23-year-old also ended up as the youngest in the top give in her category. She cleared 74kg in the snatch event on her third and final attempt, and 97lkg in the clean and jerk on her second try.
A successful lift on her third go, when she vied for a 100kg clean and jerk, would have put her into third place. Maria Hayden lifted 75 and 98 for a combined 173, beating Jean by 2kg.
Nonetheless, the young lifter was pleased with what she accomplished in Utah, and with the way her year has gone.
“It wasn’t my best performance, but I’m very satisfied with the results,” she said. “My goal was to be the number one lifter in the state of New York and also place top 10 at AO finals by the end of the year, very happy to say that I accomplished both goals! I am currently ranked first in New York and placed 4th overall at the AO series finals! Thank you to my coaches for doing a great job, it wouldn’t have been possible without you two! Thank you, everyone, for always supporting and encouraging me!”
A member of the Saratoga Barbell Club, Jean has been thus far unable to represent her native Saint Lucia in international competition due to the absence of a local governing federation for her sport.