Māori Power-lifter prepares to compete for world title

By Tamati Tiananga

Odell Manuel has become Australia's strongest power-lifter. The newly crowned champion is now back home in New Zealand for the Christmas and New Year festivities, I caught up with him to talk about his successes this year.

He's of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Whātua descent. Meet Australia's highest ranked weightlifter in the world.   

“Lot of the guys that I go against they dreamed to be it, I didn’t dream to be that it just happened” says power-lifter, Odell Manuel.

Manuel gave Te Kaeā footage of himself benching 245kg, did a 400kg dead lift and squatted 430kg.

The powerlifter was raised in Otāhuhu but he's now based in Rockhampton, Australia.

According to Mr Manuel powerlifting is made up of three dead lifts “When you go to comp, you’ve got to at least attempt one of them.”

He is currently ranked third in the world in the super-heavyweight power-lifting field for his 1075kg total at the Pro Raw 7 competition.

Training has already started for the Pro Raw 8 Arnold Classic in March. The international competition attracts the elite. Odell is expected to compete against the World number 1.

"I've actual failed all nine lifts but you bounce back” says Ollie whose is preparing for the Pro Raw 8 Arnold Classic comp.

Manuel is happy to be back home in New Zealand for the festive season.