St. Louis weightlifters Jerome Smith and Antwan Kilbert compete at the U.S. Youth National Championships.

(Lift For Life Gym)

Local Weightlifters Return From Competitions With National, International Medals

The teenage duo with Lift For Life Gym in St. Louis competed at the Youth Pan Am Championships and Youth National Championships.

June 22, 2018 - 3:47 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - It's official, St. Louis is now home to two of the best youth weightlifters in the U.S., thanks to the world-class performances by Lift for Life Gym's Antwan Kilbert and Jerome Smith.

Smith, 17, is now the top-ranked weightlifter in his weight class in both North and South America, and in Kilbert's weight class, he is the No. 2 ranked lifter in the U.S., according to the International Weightlifting Federation.  The two just competed in both the Youth Pan Am Championships in Columbia and Youth National Championships in Michigan. 

Related story: St. Louis Is Home To The Top Youth Weightlifting Duo In The U.S.

At the Youth Pan Am Championships – which included lifters from the U.S., Columbia, Venezuela, Peru, the Dominican Republic and other countries – Smith took the gold medal in the 69 kilo (152lbs) weight class and Kilbert finished ninth in his 62kg (137lbs) weight class. Smith also earned a bronze medal at the tournament's third-best lifter, regardless of weight class. 

HE DID IT! Jerome #won #YouthPanAms 5 for 6 with a 127 #snatch and a 150kg #cleanandjerk fir a 277kg #total #champ #competitor #athelete #winner #champion #liftforlife #futureolympian #beastmode #crossfit #fitness @the_lab_gym @christopher.thacker @jsmith_69kg #l4ljerome

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About a week later, the boys returned to the U.S. then went north to compete in the Youth National Championships where Smith demolished his competition and Kilbert came in second place in his weight class. 

What's next? 

Both Smith and Kilbert are competing for one spot, to represent the U.S. at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.  They will train for the Youth Olympic Trials in Philadelphia on July 27, but the U.S. will only be able to send one male and one female weightlifter.  Smith is the front runner for this spot and Kilbert is hot on his heals.

The trip to Philadelphia will cost in the neighborhood of $2,000 for airfare, hotel, rental car and food. It's is all paid for by the donations given to Litf For Life Gym and out of the pocket of their lifting coach Jimmy Duke. You can donate to their cause at  If you would like to become a team sponsor or get your company involved, please reach out to Coach Jimmy at