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Massachusetts Institute of Technology student, Michael A. Nackoul ’14, a Pittsburgh native, has been selected by USA Weightlifting (USAW) to represent the United States at the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) World Weightlifting Championships in Wroclaw, Poland, Oct. 16–27. Nackoul was named to the USA World Weightlifting Team, an elite group of the country’s 15 top male and female weightlifters, who will compete in Poland against athletes from 62 different countries.

The 22-year old Nackoul, who competes in the 85-kilogram (187 lbs.) weight class, is a two-time USA Junior World team member and recently competed at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Nackoul has won three national championships in his age group and placed seventh in the Junior Worlds in Malaysia in 2011 with lifts of 143 kilos (315 lbs.) in the snatch event and 186 kilos (410 lbs.) in the clean and jerk.

Currently a senior at MIT, Nackoul splits his time between Boston, Pittsburgh and the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he trains as a resident athlete with U.S. National Team Coach Zygmunt Smalcerz, who is a 1972 Olympic Gold medalist and International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame member.

He has his sights set on qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, following his graduation from MIT in December. “I’m honored to represent the United States at the World Championships in Poland,” notes Nackoul. “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,” said Nackoul.