Powering forward with Hani Watson


Breaking a 16-year medal drought for Australia in Powerlifting at her debut games, Hani Watson’s enthusiasm, determination and power is taking her to new heights.

Having powered her way to Bronze in the heavyweight category at Birmingham in 2022, Watson lifted an impressive 127kg – nearly 30kg more than her bodyweight. Not even realising what she had achieved at the time, Watson was “was just so happy to be there, to be surrounded by like-minded strong women and to share [her] knowledge of the sport”.

Whilst winning and sport often go hand-in-hand, Watson described lifting heavy weights as ‘graceful’, with powerlifting (and weightlifting in general) about more than PB’s.

“I have loved seeing how strength-based training has had a positive effect on people’s lives mentally and physically.  I would love nothing more but to see more athletes and the community really backing the sport,” added Watson.

“Without sport we don’t focus on our physical and mental health. Everything starts with sport.”

Carrying this outlook throughout her everyday life, Watson’s infectious smile and attitude are key to her success – allowing her to continue winning medals on the Commonwealth and Paralympic game stages.

Integral to the opportunity to succeed is the ability to compete and master her craft on the world stage, with support from Green2Gold2Great enabling participation at international competitions and domestic training camps. The funding will also support events and competitions domestically, talent ID days and information sessions that aim to broaden the sports accessibility.

As is the unpredictable nature of sport, Watsons recent competition and training plans have had to become adaptable and meant that she recently competed in Egypt instead of Thailand. With dates moved, Watson was faced with the decision to either restart her strength prep and attend an alternative competition or cut her lead-up short two weeks and give it her best given the circumstances.

Choosing the latter, Watson alluded to the opportunity it presented.

“For me, my mindset was to be better, to always do better than my last comp, so I made small sacrifices by not working as much, I had a great support network of friends and family, and a partner who kept on me to sleep, train and eat.  Every training session was doubled in capacity, which meant I pushed a lot harder than I have ever done, and it certainly paid off,” said Watson.

Claiming two new PB’s, an Oceania record, and a silver medal to cap it all off, Watson was thrilled by the results. She eclipsed her lift of 127kg from Birmingham with a solid 136kg on the bar, a portrayal of all the hard work that has been built upon her Bronze in 2022.



With a 12-week lead-up to her next competition in Georgia, Watson is keen to improve her ranking and show what Aussies can do on the platform.

With a string of poor results halted by Watson’s Bronze in Birmingham, Australia’s first in the sport since 2006, she has been identified as one to lead the next generation of Powerlifters.

Commonwealth Games Australia is proud to support Watson on her journey, and play a role in the resurgence of Powerlifting in Australia, with Green2Gold2Great helping to propel success on the world stage.



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