Ngāpuhi powerlifter off to Asia-Pacific champs

By Dean Nathan

Having only recently claimed the number one spot in New Zealand powerlifting Joseph Whittaker of Ngāpuhi descent is now in training to compete with some of the world's top powerlifters in the upcoming Asia-Pacific champs.

The bar is already bent from this 300-kilogram squat lift by Whittaker as he looks to move to another level for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Championships next month.

“We have some of the top ten in the world coming across so we've got Jessie. He’s number two in the world so he'll come across and Oliver Kerisome, They'll be my competitors I'll lift against and it’s always good to share the platform with world ranking lifters.”

In August he became the New Zealand number one after posting an all-time New Zealand record which combined a total of 900.5 kilos for the squat the bench press and the dead lift.

“Being the first kiwi to total over 900 kilos raw was a pretty good day and I was pretty stoked so I hit everything I set out to do. I can't complain I broke another record. The national record squad record as well so I just nudged it up another half a kilo.”

Having only entered the sport 3 years ago, earlier this year Joseph won the North Island Powerlifting champs before winning the nationals in August. Right now he's just focussed on taking care of his body for the upcoming competition.

“Yep there comes a lot more weight from international events. Nationals is pretty cruisy and internationals is a whole different ball game.  So got to get the mind right for that and set the body and chase after some bigger numbers.

Joseph's aim next year is to lift the combined total of his three lifts to over one thousand kilograms.