29 Nov 2019

Andrews-Nahu savours sweet weightlifting success

6:09 pm on 29 November 2019

Teenage weightlifter Kana Andrews-Nahu walked into the gym this afternoon with nothing on her mind but tackling another punishing training session.

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Photo: 123RF

That all changed shortly after she arrived, with news that she'd been upgraded to bronze at last year's Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.

Thai lifter Supatchanin Khamhaeng, who won the super-heavyweight division by 18kg, had been disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance.

Andrews-Nahu, 18, lifted a personal best combined total of 211kg to finish fourth in Rio, and says today's presentation came as a complete shock.

"Honestly, I had no idea. First of all I was crying about it, then I was happy... but I reckon I just felt the joy of the moment, took it all in," she said.

Andrews-Nahu says the knowledge that she received her medal after someone else returned a positive dope test didn't take the shine off it.

"It's hard to hear that someone would do that, but at the same time I'm still proud of how I did there and definitely proud of the outcome, considering I got a bronze medal.

"I honestly don't care about anyone else but myself. It would be nice to know that no-one was cheating, but all you can do is worry about yourself."

Andrews-Nahu says she's not going to let suspicions about doping spoil her success.

"I have suspicions every time I go and compete now, just because it's becoming such a common thing.

"But I also like to believe there are enough people in the world who participate in weightlifing who are clean."

Coached by Commonwealth Games gold medallist Richie Patterson at his North Shore gym, Andrews-Nahu was introduced to weightlifting via crossfit, and admits she still has a lot to learn.

While the discipline needed for training comes easy, she says other aspects - especially diet - are still a work in progress.

"Sometimes I get a little bit out of hand... I love chocolate, I can eat a whole bar in one sitting.

"It's my weakness. I won't turn away any kind of chocolate - you give me any kind of cholocate, I'll eat it."

Despite the occasion struggle, Andrews-Nahu is very clear on where she sees her future in the sport.

Next year's Tokyo Olympics are a possibility, but weightlifting's junior world championships are top priority.

"The goal from now is to keep succeeding, keep going forward, keep pushing for more and stay hungry.

"I honestly just want to stay happy - I don't want to lose my love for weightlifting because it's very deep."