NZ wins over ten medals at championships in Penang

By Moana Makapelu Lee

New Zealand junior and senior weightlifters have claimed over ten medals at this year's Senior, Junior and Youth Commonwealth Championships in Penang. Now they have set their sights on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Lifting their game to new heights in the sport of weightlifting is what these champions aim to do.

Athlete Brayden Maea-Brown says, “As a team success was quite good, we came back with at least ten medals as a team and it goes to show that NZ is making its way up in weightlifting and I think it's a goal as well to set to put the sport out there cause it's not as big as say rugby or rugby league.”

Brayden Maea-Brown, Bronze, David Liti and Anthony Taylor are just three of the 12 NZ contingent to claim medals at this year's commonwealth championships. 

“Yeah we went as brothers and came as brothers with medals, but at the end of the day it was about doing it together which is what it's all about really.”

Gold and silver medallist David Liti cracked a new NZ national junior record and equalling the Oceania Junior Record in the 211kg clean and jerk.

David Liti says, “I went to Tonga and my grandpa was telling me that his mate's grandson that won gold, and he told that he hoped he had a grandson that could win gold. So I came back from Tonga and my first comp since that trip and I won gold and sent it back to him.”

Now these boys have their sights set on the bigger and the better, 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Anthony Taylor says, “It's everyone's dream, yeah everyone's dream. To Weightlift at the Olympics you know, to be named as an Olympian it's a big feeling you get so yeah, everyone's goal is Olympics but yeah you gotta put in the work.”

With a little bit discipline and hard work, these boys say that any bro can lift.

“When you think about the opportunities that we're having now going to Malaysia, these guys went to Georgia and all of us went to Fiji for Oceania's and all medalled as well again. All it took was just to give it a go.”