Suamili Nanai (weightlifting) finished a creditable 6th – hauling a combined total of 361kg – in the battle to find the Commonwealth’s strongest man In Birmingham. The Naval combat systems officer took up the sport as part of his training regime for rugby but soon switched his focus. In his first competition in June 2019, he qualified to compete at the Australian championships just a few months later. By the end of 2020, he was ranked no.1 in Australia and 10th in the Commonwealth. Nanai claimed gold at the 2021 Oceania titles – held as a virtual competition due to COVID-19 restrictions – with a lift of 353kg. Nanai joined the navy in 2014 and works as an instructor at the Surface Maritime Warfare Centre at HMAS Stirling. He is coached by Andrew Saxton at the Ox Weightlifting Club in Perth. Nanai set his PBs in clean and jerk (210kg) in November 2021, total (379kg) in March 2022, while his best in snatch (170kg) came in May 2022.
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