An Auckland weightlifter who’s broken a staggering 123 New Zealand records has been selected for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

17 year old Kanah Andrews-Nahu has been named to the New Zealand team after winning gold in the youth, junior and senior U75kg weight divisions at the Oceania Weightlifting Championships in Noumea in June.

Andrews-Nahu lifted 90kg in the snatch and 104kg in the clean and jerk, on her way to becoming the first New Zealand youth athlete to win a senior title at the competition.

Above: Kanah competing

The Avondale College student, who is coached by Olympian and gold medal winning Commonwealth Games athlete Richie Patterson, began breaking national records as soon as she transitioned from crossfit to weightlifting at age 13.

“At my first competition I placed second and broke nine New Zealand weightlifting records. After that my mum got in contact with Richie, took me to his gym and I've trained with him ever since,” said Andrews-Nahu.

“He inspires me because he’s not only been a successful athlete but also a successful businessman.” 

Andrews-Nahu is excited to compete against the best young lifters in the world at the Youth Olympic Games.

“I love the diversity within the sport and the ongoing challenges that occur throughout. It not only makes you physically strong but mentally as well.”

Above: Kanah preparing to lift

The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be the third summer youth Games, following those in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing in 2014.

The Games are a pre-elite development opportunity for the world's most promising young athletes, allowing them to experience a multi-sport games environment while exposing them to learning and cultural opportunities and helping them on the performance pathway.

Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand High Performance Manager Simon Kent says he’s thrilled with the selection.

“Kanah has excelled on the international stage and her selection for the Youth Olympic Games is recognition of the hard work she and her support team have put in,” said Kent.

"OWNZ also wishes to acknowledge the selection of Samara Wright as a non-travelling reserve for this event. Both young women highlight the growing depth of talented youth and junior athletes coming through the New Zealand weightlifting ranks.”

New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to Andrews-Nahu.

“Well done to Kanah for all the work you’ve put in to get to this point. We look forward to seeing you represent New Zealand in October and hope the experience helps you on the performance pathway.”
The Youth Olympic Games will run from October 6-18th in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Buenos Aires 2018 Olympic Summer Youth Games
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