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Golden double

Two Gisborne weightlifters have again won gold medals at the national secondary schools competition and, this year, they went one better.

Tuteari Te Rauna-Lamont and Kitini Taihuka, representing Gisborne Boys’ High School, took out the teams title, as well as winning their weight divisions.

They were individual champions and team runners-up last year.

The National Secondary Schools’ Weightlifting Championships were held at Upper Hutt.

Ninety-three male and female athletes took part in the event.

Competing in the under-73-kilogram category, Te Rauna-Lamont had a best lift of 87kg in the snatch.

His main rival Jack Wilkes, from Shirley Boys’ High School in Christchurch, lifted 90kg, giving him a 3kg advantage before the clean and jerk.

Te Rauna-Lamont, 17 this month, excelled under pressure in the clean and jerk, claiming gold with his final lift.

Wilkes had applied the blowtorch by lifting 112kg for a combined total, including his best snatch result, of 202kg.

Te Rauna-Lamont managed a clean lift of 114kg and then needed a successful 116kg lift to take gold.

With all the pressure on him, he stood on the platform.

As the two-minute clock ticked down, he took his time and forced the weight above his head, earning three white lights from the judges, a combined total of 203kg and the gold medal.

Lifts six from six on way to NZ schools titleTaihuka, 16, competed in the u96kg class at the national secondary schools champs and that came down to a two-way battle as well.

Taihuka had a best snatch of 104kg but that was topped by Patrick Sefo-Cloughley, from Otago Boys’ High, who managed 106kg.

Sefo-Cloughley failed in his first attempt at 125kg in the clean and jerk but he completed the lift the next time.

Taihuka lifted 126kg but had plenty more to offer the crowd.

He made 130kg look like child’s play and, with the gold wrapped up after Sefo-Cloughley couldn’t match that, Taihuka lifted 135kg for good measure.

He finished with the highest combined total for the weekend at 239kg and had six successful lifts from six attempts.

Te Rauna-Lamont and Taihuka took up weightlifting as a sport last year and had just four months of preparation before the 2018 schools event.

Taihuka not only won last year but set national age-group records in the clean and jerk, and total weight lifted, as well as equalling the snatch record.

They both play rugby and have a background in CrossFit.

Te Rauna-Lamont was ranked first in New Zealand in CrossFit for boys aged 14 and 15 last year and eighth in the world.

Taihuka is also into waka ama and was part of the Horouta men’s J19 crew who represented Aotearoa and competed in the world long-distance championships last month.

Both Gisborne-based lifters are tutored by Commonwealth Games coach Tina Ball.

Ball and David Liti, who won a gold medal in weightlifting at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, will be in Gisborne on October 12 and 13 and running clinics at CrossFit Mauri.

More information is available from CrossFit gym owner Tina McKinlay.

CHAMPIONS AGAIN: Gisborne Boys’ High School students Kitini Taihuka (above) and Tuteari Te Rauna-Lamont (see the following picture in this gallery) repeated their 2018 individual success at the 2019 National Secondary Schools Weightlifting Championships in Upper Hutt but this time added the teams’ title to their achievements. Gisborne Herald file pictures
Tuteari Te Rauna-Lamont.