Young weightlifter returns home with gold

By Dean Nathan

At 17 years of age, Taiao Kawiti went to the Oceania games where the opposition was left to eat his dust.

Competing in the under 94kg weight class, Taiao went to the Oceania games with a focus of lifting a personal best.  However despite not achieving that, he had a total weight of 210kg for both the snatch and the clean and jerk, which was enough to take gold.

Taiao says, "I'd like to break the clean and jerk record and that's 142 kilos at the moment,  so I'm not far off and I've got another ten months to do it.

That's also the focus of his training partner, Paige Lawgun.  At only 15 years of age, she's already broken numerous National records and took bronze in her weight class at the Oceania games

Supported by his parents and the Ngāti Wai Trust Board to reach this pinnacle, Taiao is looking at moving to Auckland to pursue his weightlifting career.