Monday, May 20, 2024

Phenom Tasi putting NZ Powerlifting on the map 

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Jewel Tasi pictured during her attempt squatting 256kgs, the heaviest female squat in NZ history. She will represent NZ at the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Competition in Malta.

A former Howick College student is putting New Zealand on the map as she competes at the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Competition in Malta.

Jewel Tasi was selected as part of the eight-strong New Zealand female Powerlifters to compete against some of the best in the world.

The now 24-year-old is looking to make a statement, being the only New Zealand woman to compete in the 84kg+ category.

“My training in the lead up to this competition has been tracking well, although every session does get a bit harder and a bit heavier, I’ve really enjoyed this training block,” she says.

Tasi says the prospect of going up against the best female Powerlifters in the world is surreal.

“Some of these ladies I have been watching since I started powerlifting, so to eventually be in the same environment and share the platform with them is very humbling,” she says.

The competition got underway on June 11 in Valletta, Malta and will conclude on June 18.

Powerlifting is a strength sport which consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts – squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Born and raised in New Zealand, Tasi says she grew up wanting to wear the Silver Fern and to finally have the opportunity to do so is incredible and very blessing.

After starting to go to the gym with her mum, she was almost instantly drawn to Powerlifting

“I researched Powerlifting and found the top female powerlifter in New Zealand at the time on Instagram. She was squatting 160kgs for reps and I just couldn’t fathom how she could lift so much weight and be so strong,” Tasi says.

Tasi eventually reached out to her Powerlifting idol in 2018 where she was united with her now coach Dominique Basabas.

Tasi currently holds the highest female total in New Zealand for the New Zealand Powerlifting Federation (NZPF) at 621kg.

Ironically, Tasi is now one of the top female powerlifters in New Zealand and currently holds the title for the heaviest female squat in NZ history, being 256kgs.

Tasi says he selection to represent New Zealand on the world stage is her greatest Powerlifting success to date, but she has also had her fair share of accolades.

To name a few, she was crowned the National female Powerlifitng champion in 2022, and Auckland champion in 2023.

Tasi also currently holds the highest female total in NZ for the New Zealand Powerlifting Federation (NZPF) at 621kg.

The 621kg total is made up of her recent lifts: 256kg Squat, 125kg Bench-press and 240kg Deadlift.

When she first started out in Powerlifting, Tasi says she doubted herself and decided she couldn’t do it, but it was her mum that helped her shift her mentality.

“Growing up she would always tell me ‘You can do anything that you put your mind to, you just need to put your head down and work at it’ and now before every competition, these are the words that she’ll say to me,” says Tasi.

She also credits her success to her coach Basabas who is the “mastermind” behind her preparation for every competition.

“Over the years he’s helped me to build resilience and I am always grateful to be under his guidance,” she says.

Her best friend and fellow female Powerlifter that will compete beside her in Malta, Karlina Tongotea has also be majorly influential in Tasi’s short career.

Tongotea is ranked number one in the world for her U76kg weight class.

“Karlina and I started training together in 2018. She has always pushed the limit for what is possible to achieve and that drives me to want to push for more too,” Tasi says.

Tasi was a student at Howick College from 2012 to 2016.

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