Powerlifter Sonia Manaena last night enjoyed her golden moment at the Civic Theatre after receiving her World Powerlifting Championship overall gold medal.
Manaena won the open heavyweight silver medal at the World Powerlifting Championships in Sweden in June, but when Russian winner Irina Yaroshenko failed a drug test, Manaena was promoted to gold.
Earlier this week Manaena said while a courier had delivered the medals last Friday, she would not wear them around her neck until the official ceremony.
Last night, in front of a supportive crowd at the Civic Theatre and broadcast on Campbell Live, Manaena got the moment she had been waiting for: standing at the top of the podium as the New Zealand flag was raised and the national anthem played.
New Zealand Powerlifting Federation president Steve Lousich presented Manaena with her raw deadlift (world record) gold, squat gold and silver bench lift medals before presenting her overall gold.
After the ceremony, as wellwishers lined up to hug and congratulate Manaena, she said she had loved having the ceremony in front of a home crowd.
- The Southland Times