Clarence "CJ" Cummings  won the United States first gold medal at the the Junior World Championships in Suva with victory in the 73kg event ©USA Weightlifting

Three days before his 19th birthday, Clarence "CJ" Cummings won his sixth world title for the United States at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Junior World Championships in Suva in Fiji. 

The phenomenally successful Cummings - who broke 15 records from national to world level in the Pan-American Championships in Guatemala in April - has now won two IWF Youth World Championships and four successive Juniors.

He was 16-years and one week old when he won his first Junior gold in Tbilisi in 2016, and will be young enough to go for a fifth straight title next March in Cairo.

His next target is the Pan-American Juniors in Havana in Cuba in three weeks but the main aim is next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

"I am extremely happy and excited for this year’s gold medal as never anyone from the USA had four Junior World Champion titles before,"Cummings said after winning at the FMF Gymnasium. 

"My next competition will be the Junior Pan-American Championships, which I also would like to win and build up my points to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games."

At senior level Cummings still has work to do, but his age is very much in his favour.

He was the only teenager in the top 10 at last year’s senior IWF World Championships in Ashgabat in Turkmenistan, where all three medallists in the new 73 kiolgrams category were at least seven years older than him.

As usual, it was in the clean and jerk that Cummings left his rivals trailing.

He was one kilogram behind Marin Robu of Moldova after the snatch, in which he made 145kg at his first attempt, then failed twice.

In the clean and jerk Cummings did not start until everybody else had finished, making 192kg to total 337kg.

China's Gan Hongyan celebrates her victory in the 55kg category as its women's team maintained its 100 per cent success record at the IWF Junior World Championships in Suva ©Twitter
China's Gan Hongyan celebrates her victory in the 55kg category as its women's team maintained its 100 per cent success record at the IWF Junior World Championships in Suva ©Twitter

That left him 17kg clear of Romania’s Paul Dumitrascu, who had bombed out in the snatch, and clear by the same margin on total from Robu on 320kg and Maksad Meredov of Turkmenistan 312kg.

There are two more American gold medal contenders this week, Harrison Maurus tomorrow in the 81kg and Kate Nye in the 71kg on Wednesday (June 5). 

China already has three gold medals, as its women’s team kept up its 100 per cent record by winning the day’s two other events.

No Chinese entered the lightest 45kg class, but China has won three from three at 49kg, 55kg and 59kg.

Today's winners were Gan Hongyan, who held off a strong challenge by the Colombian Yenny Sinisterra at 55kg, and Luo Xiaomin, easiest winner of the week in the 59kg.

Sinisterra, a cousin of the Beijing 2008 silver medallist and 2017 world champion Leidy Solis, would have won had she made her final attempt at 115kg but she missed it and finished a kilogram behind Gan, who totalled 205kg.

Kristina Novitskaia of Russia was third on 197kg.

Luo, 20, had the platform to herself in the 59kg, as she did not start until all others had finished in both snatch and clean and jerk.

Her total of 221kg was 25kg better than Ayşegül Çakın of Turkey, with Chaima Rahmouni of Tunisia a further kilogram behind in third place.

The promising 16-year-old Brazilian Nicole Lagos was fourth on 192kg, an improvement of seven kilograms on her performance at the IWF Youth World Championships, where she was also fourth.