Commonwealth Games: 'Big Bear' David Liti treads lightly to weightlifting gold

  • 10/04/2018

'Big Bear' David Liti says he doesn't want to disturb the peace, but he's made a loud statement by winning Commonwealth Games weightlifting gold and setting a Games record.

The 21-year-old, in the men's 105kg-plus class, nailed a 229kg clean and jerk for a total of 403kg, beating the old record by 3kg on the Gold Coast on Monday night.

Samoa's Lautiti Lui won the silver medal and Pakistan's Muhammad Nooh Dastgir Butt the bronze.

"I can't really describe it," Liti told reporters afterwards. "I came in just being happy with whatever I would 

have came out with - I didn't expect a gold medal. I'm really proud.

"I came into the competition telling myself I'm gonna to have fun. This is my first Commonwealth Games and I don't want to mess that up.

"I came in, I told myself 'go have fun, laugh it off, if you win or lose, it's alright, back yourself'."

Liti told Newshub he was also dealing with injury during the competition, but had to put that aside in the battle for gold.

"I've been on painkillers, just trying to put it out of my mind and not worry about it much," he said. "I wanted to have fun and we did it."

Liti, dubbed 'Big Bear', said his relaxed approach worked better for him.

"I am not an aggressive person... I go with the flow, I don't want to disturb the peace or anything like that."

His relaxed attitude helped when he was timed out in his second attempt at the snatch. It was a mistake he put out of his head, he said.

Liti was the last of New Zealand's 12-strong team to compete, but the first to win a medal.

Earlier, gold medal favourite Laurel Hubbard pulled out of her 95kg-plus women's competition after injuring her left elbow, while attempting a Games snatch record of 132kg.

Stanislav Chalaev, 31, also pulled out halfway through the men's 105kg competition after becoming dehydrated, while trying to make the weight

"He was trying to come down to a body weight under 105kg and it's hotter in the venue today than it has been in the last few days," said the New Zealand high performance director Simon Kent.

Tracey Lambrechs, 32, who won bronze in the 75kg-plus in Glasgow and also competed in Delhi, finished fifth in the women's 90kg class, lifting 93kg in the snatch and 120kg in the clean and jerk.

Lambrechs immediately indicated her retirement by leaving her shoes on the platform.

"I did not particularly choose this event to retire, but when you know it, you just know it," she said.

NZN