Andrew Alderson: David Liti reveals his secret behind gold success


Manage episode 202922785 series 1927552
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Kendrick of Compton has inspired David of Auckland to Commonwealth Games gold. David Liti offered nothing short of outrageous courage and brilliant theatre to secure gold in a sport he once thought was "boring". The 21-year-old won the men’s over 105 kilogram weightlifting on the Gold Coast, combining a 174 kilogram snatch with a 229 kilogram clean and jerk in a Games record combined lift of 403 kilograms. Liti says he listened to some inspiring music from Kendrick Lamar before competition to amp him up. "[He] was just pumping me and some people think that he's an angry rapper, but I think he's a happy dude. Happy go lucky." His first snatch saw him put 166kg on the bar – 1kg more than his own mass. He lifted it like lint off a jersey. Bizarrely, Liti was denied a second lift courteous of a timing glitch. The origins of the error remain unknown as yet. He popped his earphones aside, returned to ping up 174kg and blew a kiss at the judges. He duelled with Pakistan's Muhammad Nooh Dastgir Butt and Samoa's Lui Lauititi as they ratcheted up the plates and swapped the lead among themselves. Lui sat in the gold medal position, but passed out on stage with his final lift. After medical staff had removed his groggy form via wheelchair, Liti was faced with a Commonwealth record 229kg from his final attempt. His composure remain resolute and he posted the bar up to triumph with a combined weight of 403kg. Butt lifted last, but unsuccessfully. New Zealand needed a new champion to take the mantle from Richie Patterson. They found it in Liti. Liti is over the moon he left rugby behind. A promising young rugby player, his relationship with weightlifting has been topsy turvy. "I went back to rugby and I came back to weightlifting and I just kind of liked it. [There's] not much running, don't have learn many plays all you do is lift weights and sit down!" Earlier, one of the best sounds at the Games was the applause accompanying Laurel Hubbard's arrival onto the 90kg+ platform. One of the worst was seeing her cry out as her elbow appeared to hyperflex while attempting a Commonwealth record 132kg for her final snatch lift. In a triumph for human rights and open opportunity, the 40-year-old transgender athlete strolled out to Katy Perry's Firework. She lit the fuse by nailing 120kg with her first lift. However, the pyrotechnics fizzled when she left the stage holding her elbow in agony. Hubbard decided she was unfit to advance to the clean and jerk round. "As far as I can tell, I have ruptured a ligament in my left elbow, but until we get an MRI or further scanning, the extent of the injury is not known. "It's obviously a difficult time, but the one thing I'm happiest about is that I tried to reach my best performance. This [the injury] happens sometimes, but that's sport. "We can always go back and re-run these things in our heads, but the truth is unless we try to be the best person and athlete we can be, then really we're not being true to sport. I'm happy with the decision I made to take those weights." Initially, a tactical duel built between Hubbard and 17-year-old Samoan rival Feagaiga Stowers as they upped the ante on their opening weights. Hubbard cleared her first attempt with what looked relative ease. A wave to the crowd, a delighted smile and a saunter off stage encapsulated a genial welcome. Stowers threw 113kg in the air, but failed to match Hubbard's 120kg with her third attempt. The New Zealander added 7kg to her bar, failed, and then made the flawed attempt which triggered her departure. Stowers went on to take the title. "I'm unhappy having to withdraw from the competition, but I gave it everything I had. I can sleep well knowing that," Hubbard said. "The Australian crowd was magnificent. They really made me try for that last lift. I regret I wasn't able to give them the result they wanted to see." Hubbard was asked if she had been treated with respect and inclusivity at the Games, whose mantra is "humanity, equality,...

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