Arm-wrestler Heta-Morris gives power-lifting a go

By Lynette Amoroa

New Zealand Heavyweight Arm Wrestling Champ Maateiwarangi Heta-Morris is putting his strength into powerlifting. The 27-year old competed in a recent Anzac UPANZ competition in Hamilton, surprising judges with his results.

Benching 180kg with ease. It's hard to believe he's only been in the sport for a week.

“I did alright, I think I got the heaviest lift in the Novice class,” says Heta-Morris from Te Arawa and Ngāti Awa.

He was hoping to exceed that by benching an extra 10kg, but a foul cancelled that out.

“I got 180kgs in my first lift and my second lift at 190kgs. But, technical problems, and my bum came off a little bit, third lift I tried 190kg again, but I was just worn out.”

But that hasn't deterred the NZ arm wrestling champion away from the game. If anything, he gained some valuable experience.

“Arm-wrestling to me is more of a combat sport, a one on one, bench pressing is more about yourself, different levels of focus.”

So could this also mean a new focus in his sporting career?

“No, not at all! My heart is in arm-wrestling, I owe so much to the sport, but I can see myself in another bench-press comp!”

He'll have that chance in both sports next month when he defends his title in the arm wrestling nationals and another local bench competition.