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Taranaki powerlifter Ashleigh Hoeta wins New Zealand arm wrestling title in first attempt

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Ashleigh Hoeta, a Taranaki athlete who is a national champion in female powerlifting, wanted to try her luck on the table and in a remarkable turn of events, she outright demolished all competitions to secure the New Zealand women’s arm wrestling title on her first attempt.

Ashleigh Hoeta wants “more sisters” to be involved in the sport

As a newcomer, Hoeta didn’t have an easy opponent. Even though getting a taste of armwrestling was ‘just for fun’, Hoeta was pitted against none other than Ngareta Barbarich, who is a five time national champion.

Even though the powerlifting icon walked into the “unknown” as arm wrestling was something that was completely new to her, Hoeta completely dominated Barbarich to become the new national champion in Hamilton last weekend.

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“I just did it for fun, and they put me up against the five time New Zealand champ straight away,” said Hoeta after her victory, “It’s a pretty cool feeling.”

A former international gymnast of 11 years, Hoeta’s triumph comes a year after she set three new National Powerlifting records, as well as equalled a Squat World Record. However, with her first time on the table, Hoeta did feel nervous but her coach had told her to do her best.

Powerlifter Ashleigh Hoeta setting records a year after suffering a stroke | Stuff.co.nz
Image Courtesy: ODINS BEARD PHOTOGRAPHY/Stuff.co.nz

“I didn’t know what to expect, I was walking into the unknown,” the Taranaki lifter went on, “When I was walking on stage I thought I was going to collapse, my legs were like jelly.”

A member of the Brothers in Arms powerlifting group, the national powerlifting icon trains for 12 hours each week at the Kiwi-Strength gym. Hoeta revealed that her father is terminally ill and wants to accomplish as much as she can with his presence, and she also wishes more women to be a part of the sport.

“Dad is terminally ill, so I just want to do as much as I can while he’s still here. Our club is called Brothers in Arms, and I’m still asking for the ‘sisters’ to be added in,” Hoeta added. [H/T Stuff.co.nz]

Highlights:

  • New Zealand powerlifting champion Ashleigh Hoeta clinches national women’s arm wrestling title on her first attempt
  • Hoeta defeated five time national champion Ngareta Barbarich on her first endeavour on the table
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