Topic: Fitness

Māori weightlifters return home with eight records

By Eru Paranihi
  • Auckland

Young Weightlifters Kanah Andrews-Nahu and Benet Kumeroa have returned home from the 2017 IWF Youth World Championships in Thailand. It was a significant moment as both Kanah and Benet set a combined eight national weightlifting records between them.

Of Ngāpuhi decent Kanah says, “It felt really good to break those records. It just adds to the list I guess and it's a good learning experience.”

“A good chance to compete on the World Stage on the international platform really helps me,” says Benet (Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi) who was greeted at the Auckland International Airport by family and friends.  

Kanah was disappointed to miss out on competing with the top lifters despite breaking the youth and junior snatch records of 81kgs and total of 179kgs. It is a feat that the 16-year old is set out to achieve come next year’s world championships. 

“I wanted to place as an A-group lifter and to do that, I needed to get an 85 snatch and a 105 Clean & Jerk to kind of bump myself up the rankings,” says Kanah.

New Zealand weightlifting Chris Gibbs echoed Kanah’s disappointment but believes she has the ability to match it with the world’s best, “She's very unlucky not to be in the A group. She was very close to being there, definitely A-group next time.”

Benet on the other hand, whose records include the youth snatch and combined records, was happy to be competing alongside the world's best, and he held his own with a Top 10 finish.

"There were some pretty strong kids over there, so I was put in B-group. There were a few world records broken so that was pretty cool,” says Benet.  

In order for Kanah and Benet to do well, their coach kept everything simple.

"It all comes down to the training. If you train well, put yourself in the same situations, train somewhere different, and train with different people because that's what you're going to experience on competition day,” says Gibbs.  

There's little time to rest for Kanah and Benet as they are back in training for the North Island Championships; where they hope to qualify for the Commonwealth Championships on the Gold Coast in September.