Kanah Andrews-Nahu aiming to lift Olympic gold

By James Perry

They say records are meant to be broken. 17-year-old Kanah Andrews-Nahu is the epitome of that saying. 

Since taking up the sport of weightlifting as a 13-year-old she has been smashing records. Her latest record-breaking feat came about at the Oceania championships in Noumea recently, lifting 90kg in the snatch, and a total of 194kg in the women's 75kg division.

"It's my first kind of big regional record that I've broken," says Andrews-Nahu.

Her record-breaking run in New Caledonia saw the Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Porou descendant walk away with gold medals in the Youth, Junior, and Senior women's divisions.

This is the first time a NZ Youth athlete has won a senior title at the competition.

Andrews-Nahu is one step closer to another goal she told Te Kāea about in 2015, to one day represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games. 

She has been selected to participate in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.

She says it "feels good" to be able to call herself an Olympian. She also says "I feel like I've really put in the hard yards to get to where I am now and it's all really paid off. So I'm really happy about that."

Her coach, former Olympian lifter and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Richie Patterson, says Andrews-Nahu he has never seen a young athlete lift the weights that Andrews-Nahu has been.

"Kanah is lifting more than I was when I was her age and the same body weight - and I held the New Zealand junior men's records," he says. 

Patterson is unsure what to expect of Andrews-Nahu's chances in Argentina, but with her recent track record he feels confident of her future achievements.

"We might have an Olympic champion," Patterson says. " We don't know yet."

Andrews-Nahu says qualifying for big events such as the Commonwealth and Olympic Games in the future are big goals, "but I also want to be able to break more junior records and senior records hopefully."

The Youth Olympic Games kick off in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.