Canonsburg’s Nackoul named to USA weighlifting team

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Michael Nackoul of Canonsburg has been selected by USA Weightlifting to represent the United States at the International Weightlifting Federation’s World Championships that begin today in Wroclaw, Poland.


The competition runs through Oct. 27. Nackoul’s events will be held Oct. 24 and 25.


The USA team’s roster consists of the country’s top 15 male and female weightlifters, who will compete against athletes from 62 countries.


The 22-year old Nackoul, who competes in the 85-kilogram (187 pounds) weight class, is a two-time USA Junior World team member and recently competed at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. A member of the Pittsburgh Barbell Club and a senior at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nackoul has won three national championships in his age group and placed seventh in the Junior Worlds in Malaysia in 2011 with lifts of 315 pounds in the snatch and 410 pounds in the clean and jerk.


Nackoul splits his time between Boston, Canonsburg and the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he trains as a resident athlete with U.S. National Team coach Zygmunt Smalcerz, a 1972 Olympic Gold medalist and International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame member.


While in Pittsburgh, Nackoul trains at the Pittsburgh Sports Performance Center in Bridgeville, which is the only USAW-approved weightlifting facility in the Pittsburgh area and one of only three in the state of Pennsylvania.


Nackoul’s goal is to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is scheduled to graduate from MIT in December.


“I’m honored to represent the United States at the World Championships in Poland,” Nackoul said. “My teammates and I have been working hard. Competing against the best in the world is a great experience that will help all of us as we work toward 2016.”


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