Wellington baby bigger than our best

By Grant Chapman

Jonah Lomu showed at birth no hints of his imposing size. Photo / photosport.nz
Jonah Lomu showed at birth no hints of his imposing size. Photo / photosport.nz

Before you roll your eyes at the comparison, brace yourself for the reality - New Zealand's heaviest baby may grow to be even bigger than many of our "biggest" sporting stars.

News of the massive 16-pound, four-ounce (7.39kg) bub, delivered by caesarean section at Wellington Hospital this week, has stunned the nation and, no doubt, earned the admiration and sympathy of mums all over the country, with Mother's Day looming this weekend.

"People are calling him the next Jonah Lomu," boasts his un-named dad. "But we think he'll be a concert pianist."

In fact, it's likely Baby Gargantuan weighed much, much more than Lomu did at birth. The All Blacks legend, who stood about 1.96m (6ft 5in)/120kg at his peak, was a sickly infant and spent several weeks in hospital, before he was allowed home.

Obviously, he made up for lost time later in life.

But a snap poll of other sporting giants suggests this latest arrival will have trouble finding clothes to fit for some years to come.

Perhaps our biggest professional or international athlete is NZ Breakers and Tall Blacks basketball seven-footer Alex Pledger, who tipped the scales at just 8lb 8oz (3.84kg), but was already more than two feet (61cm) long. He's now 2.15m/120kg.

Alex Pledger is perhaps New Zealand's biggest sportsman. Photo / Getty
Alex Pledger is perhaps New Zealand's biggest sportsman. Photo / Getty

Tall Blacks legend Pero Cameron, who grew to 1.98m/130kg, admits to weighing nine pounds (4.08kg) at birth, about the same as Olympic shot put medallist Tom Walsh, currently at 1.86m/120kg.

All Blacks rugby icon Wayne "Buck" Shelford was apparently a little less than nine pounds, while Marty Taupau, the "Incredible Hulk" of the NZ Kiwis rugby league side, estimates his birth weight between 9-10 pounds. He's now 1.90m/112kg.

Marty Taupau is the incredible hulk of the Kiwis team. Photo / photosport.nz
Marty Taupau is the incredible hulk of the Kiwis team. Photo / photosport.nz

Clearly, none are in the same ballpark as the new champion.

In fact, the combined load of the Whetton twins - All Blacks Gary and Alan - came to just under 13 pounds (5.9kg). They matured to about 1.96m/100kg each.

Alan Whetton, left, and Gary Whetton, right, didn't measure up. Photo / Geoff Dale
Alan Whetton, left, and Gary Whetton, right, didn't measure up. Photo / Geoff Dale

It's way too early to make predictions about how big this tot can grow. The foundations are there, but a lot can happen through his formative years.

If you need another reason to admire his mum, though, consider this - by the end of her pregnancy, she was carrying around the equivalent of one of Walsh's shots.

She truly deserves our respect.

- NZ Herald

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