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'I'm part Tongan now' – coach and David Liti explain their special relationship

Weightlifting gold medal winning star David Liti and coach Tina Ball have opened up about their special relationship, following their success at this year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Liti, 21, completed a games record combined lift of 403kg in the men's 105kg+ division to secure New Zealand a gold medal, before embracing his coach in touching scenes that caught the attention of the sporting world.

Speaking to 1 NEWS today, both Liti and Ball explained their coach-athlete dynamic, and why it works so well.

"Basically (we're) family really," Liti said.

"Tina's adopted another black son," he joked.

"I'm part Tongan now," Ball responded.

Liti went on to explain the pair's relationship, with Ball even having a room in her house for the young lifter.

"Her sons opened up their arms to me too."

"Her sister, her brothers - they've all accepted me into the family."

Liti and coach Tina Ball combined for a weightlifting gold medal in the men’s 105kg+ division. Source: 1 NEWS


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