Arm wrestler on a mission

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

Rotorua's Maateiwarangi Heta-Morris is on a mission to Poland, to take down the best in the business when it comes to arm wrestling.

Heta-Morris will represent the New Zealand Arm Wrestling Federation at the 2013 World Wrestling Championships in Poland at the start of September.

He is the New Zealand arm wrestling champion and the over-95kg Australasia champion.

Interestingly, he has only been arm wrestling competitively for about two years, picking up the sport with fellow Rotorua arm wrestler Monty Corbett.

"The sport is starting to come of age in New Zealand," he said.

This is the first time New Zealand has sent competitors to the world champs, and Heta-Morris will be joined by another Kiwi arm wrestler from Auckland.

During the past few months he has ramped up his training to four sessions a week, including three gym sessions, to prepare for the world champs.

"I am mostly focusing on strength at the moment because those guys over there are bloody strong," he said. "They have been doing it for 10 to 15 years. That's their rugby over there."

He said the equipment at the gym was a bit small but he was making do with the 50kg dumbbells.

Heta-Morris will be competing in the prestigious men's 110kg-plus class, in both the right hand and left hand competitions.

To go to the world champs Heta-Morris needs to raise about $7000, and currently has just over $1000. Family relation and local carver Joe Kemp, from Te Haa Gallery, has donated a carving made out of swamp totara and whale bone to help raise funds for Heta-Morris.

If you would like to help sponsor him, or buy a raffle ticket for the carving, check out his Facebook page Maateiwarangi Heta-Morris.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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