U.S. will pick Olympic weightlifting team in Atlanta

Updated: September 11, 2007, 8:50 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The United States will pick its weightlifting team for the Beijing Olympics in the city that hosted the 1996 Summer Games.

USA Weightlifting announced Tuesday that Georgia Tech, just north of downtown Atlanta, will host the 2008 Olympic team trials.

The competition will be held May 16-17 at The Ferst Center, an 1,155-seat fine arts facility on campus. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Georgia Tech hosted swimming, diving, water polo and boxing, along with the athletes' village.

The country's top 60 weightlifters -- 30 men and 30 women -- will be invited to compete for spots on the U.S. team. As of now, the Americans are allotted four slots each for males and females, though that could change based on their results at the upcoming world championships in Thailand.

Team Georgia Weightlifting will host the event. The field will be whittled down to 10 men and 10 women during two sessions on May 16. The following day, the final places will be determined and the Olympic team announced.

"Georgia has a rich history of Olympic weightlifting dating all the way back to the 1956 Melbourne Games," said Team Georgia coach C.J. Stockel, referring to gold medalist Paul Anderson.

One of the prominent Georgia weightlifters is Savannah's Cheryl Haworth, a bronze medalist at the 2000 Sydney Games, when the women made their Olympic debut.

But she's hardly alone.

"Twelve to 15 of the athletes who could be competing are going to come from the state of Georgia," Stockel said. "That's how strong it is in weightlifting. We'll be excited to have a hometown crowd for our athletes."

NBC will televise the trials.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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