Champion waka ama paddler and star rugby player Kitini Taihuka has been involved in CrossFit since he was ten years old.
Just last week Taihuka won the NZ under 15 male NZ Olympic weightlifting title, not bad for a boy who just found the sport seven months ago.
He may not be a big boy, but he can lift big weights.
“I got into weightlifting while I was in CrossFit,” says Taihuka, “I’ve been doing CrossFit since I was 10 years old and I just wanted to do another sport, so I found weightlifting and I liked it.”
At his first ever competition, held in the Bay of Plenty, he faced grown men and did relatively well.
“I was feeling happy that I just went up there and got on with it. It was okay, I just blocked the other competitors out and got on with my work.”
In June he broke four records at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships, held in New Caledonia.
The records he currently holds are in the under 15 85kg category, where he got a 101kg snatch and a 122kg clean and jerk. In the under 15 95kg category, he got a 124kg clean and jerk.
This year's accomplishments saw him win the Under 15 NZ Olympic weightlifting title.
“I was surprised when I got that award,” laughs Taihuka.
The talented athlete has more goals that he wants to achieve in the sport. He wants to qualify for the Pacific Games and continue to break more records.
“I want to carry on in the sport because this helps me out in rugby and waka ama, those are both of my favourite sports,” says Taihuka, “So I’ll just to carry on and try and make the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games in weightlifting.”